People make mistakes while they’re going through a divorce. It’s a stressful time in a person’s life, and emotions can get the better of anyone.
Unfortunately, errors while negotiating the terms of a divorce agreement can have long-lasting consequences, especially if you have real estate holdings, business interests, and other high-value assets. It’s critical to hire an experienced divorce lawyer and proceed with each step carefully.
Below are the five most common mistakes people make during high-net-worth divorces. You should review each one so you can prepare for the process ahead and avoid making errors that could damage the outcome of your case.
Feeling Helpless After Filing for Divorce
Whether you or your spouse file the divorce petition, thinking about the challenges you face can be paralyzing. It’s often tedious and time-consuming for couples to work through the complex process of negotiating property division, alimony, and other terms of a divorce.
However, you shouldn’t let your stress take over and prevent you from making decisions. Protecting your finances is vital while you’re determining how to divide your marital assets with your spouse and whether you have property you want to keep after finalizing the divorce.
Allowing Emotions to Control Behavior
You can experience a range of emotions while going through a divorce. Feeling sad, angry, confused, frustrated, and anxious are common. Don’t let your emotional state interfere with your decision-making abilities.
Too often, divorcing couples allow their desire for revenge to overshadow what’s really important. When valuable assets are at stake, no one wants their spouse to walk away with them while they’re left behind, empty-handed. However, you shouldn’t seek certain property out of spite or anger. It could cloud your judgment and end up harming your chance of receiving your fair share.
Some people will give in to their spouse’s demands during negotiations to get the process over with and move forward with their life. That’s not a good idea either. While trying to get back at your spouse for having an affair or punishing them by trying to take everything they own isn’t productive, being a pushover won’t benefit you either.
Making Decisions without Seeking Legal Advice
Knowing a divorce settlement might leave you in financial ruin might cause you to panic, especially if you’re the high net worth spouse. You might decide to hide, devalue, or move your property around so your spouse can’t get their hands on it.
Unfortunately, making this move is unethical and unlikely to succeed. A team of lawyers, financial accountants, and other individuals your spouse hires can investigate and find every asset you own. If they discover you attempted to hide anything, it could negatively impact the terms of your divorce.
You should speak to your attorney about how to handle your finances and assets instead of making decisions yourself. Your legal team can provide the necessary guidance and create a strategy to protect your interests.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer without Performing Research
Performing extensive research into a divorce attorney’s experience, qualifications, and past case results is vital. Picking a random name from an internet search could backfire. You need to hire someone you can trust to meet your needs and goals.
Ask for a recommendation from someone you know who went through a divorce. When you’re looking up lawyers online, be sure to check out reviews from previous clients. You can also confirm their professional memberships and associations, awards from legal organizations, and ratings from attorney rating services. Verify that the lawyers you choose from all have experience with high net worth divorces. They are significantly different from divorces where the parties have few assets.
Overlooking Other Financial Aspects of Divorce
You might focus all of your attention on assets with high value but forget about your physical property and liquid assets. You should consider every aspect of your finances while preparing for divorce negotiations.
A settlement isn’t only about deciding how to divide assets and money you currently own or share with your spouse. You must also consider potential expenses, ongoing obligations, and future and present tax liabilities.
An experienced divorce attorney can work with a financial planner and tax advisor to uncover seemingly insignificant details regarding your finances to ensure you don’t overlook anything. They can explain any tax consequences you might face by keeping, sharing, or giving away certain assets and the impact various divorce terms could have on your financial future.
The Mandel Law Firm has represented clients involved in high net worth divorces for decades. When you hire us, you will have a dedicated and aggressive team in your corner to fight for your rights, interests, and future.
Call us at (646) 770-3868 for a confidential consultation with a New York City divorce lawyer if you’re about to go through a complicated high net worth divorce.