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Bay Area Family Attorneys > Blog > Property Division > Essential Questions to Consider in a High Asset Divorce

Essential Questions to Consider in a High Asset Divorce


Divorce is devastating for a great number of reasons. One material, but very real part, is the devastation of dividing assets after years, maybe even decades, of hard work as a couple to build what you have. If you have accumulated wealth during the course of your marriage, there are several things you should be wary of as you begin to navigate through an impending divorce.

High Asset Divorce

 A divorce that deals with the division of wealth generated throughout the course of a marriage can be referred to as a “high asset divorce.” While every high asset divorce is different, typical resources involved might include multiple cars, pension, real property, boats, airplanes, jewelry, investments, stocks, business holdings, securities, trademarks, life insurance, etc.

High asset divorces are usually quite complicated since there is a lot of property to consider, and it is understandable that both parties want to walk away from the marriage in the best shape possible – at least with what they most highly value. Some cases are complicated enough that it is advisable to work with not only a highly skilled attorney, but with an additional team as well. Engaging with tax accountants, financial specialists, even forensic accountants, as a part of your legal case can be absolutely essential to achieving the highest level of success in your high asset divorce.

Questions to Ask as you Begin

As you consider a path forward in your own high asset divorce action, keep the following questions in mind:

What Do You Own?

Do you have property that came into your possession before the marriage? Does your spouse? Generally, property that you acquire prior to the marriage is considered separate property. This means it generally will not be subject to division in the divorce. There are, of course, nuances here and your own scenario should be discussed with an experienced attorney.

What Is Your Worth?

So many people have lost out on what should be rightfully theirs in a divorce settlement because they did not do their due diligence when it came to inventorying and valuating the community assets prior to finalizing a divorce agreement.

An experienced attorney can work seamlessly with financial experts that have the ability to assess diverse aspects of a couples’ financial portfolio. These might include forensic accountants, real estate appraisers, business valuators, etc.

Mediation or Trial?

High asset divorces are complex, However, many of these kinds of cases have been settled by mutual agreement outside of court via mediation.

Mediation can be highly valuable. Couples who come to a mutually agreeable arrangement through the use of methods outside of an actual divorce trial might be happier with their agreement. One benefit of an agreement via mediation is that the couples have more control to compromise and bargain with one another to come to a mutually agreeable solution.

However, if mediation is not an option (and for some aggressive or hostile divorces, it is not advisable) do not hesitate to go to court. The court system aims to have both parties leave the marriage on good footing. A proven divorce attorney can help guide you through either option, and help you land with your best foot forward.

Contact Cardwell, Steigerwald Young

The San Francisco property division attorneys at Cardwell, Steigerwald Young can represent you through even the most complex high-asset divorce and property division issues. Contact our office today.



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