Life Spans – Bridge Divorce Strategies Newsletter

Financial tips for high-asset divorce cases

Not every divorcing couple has millions of dollars in assets to divide. It’s called “the one percent” for a reason.

Still, high-asset cases will cross your desk—they’ve sure crossed mine—from time to time. And you need to be as prepared as you can for them, from a financial standpoint and a best-serving-your-client standpoint, when they come.

As a CPA, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® professional who helps women with the financial side of divorce, I’ve worked my share of high-asset cases. And what I can tell you is that, in some ways, they’re incredibly different from run-of-the-mill divorce cases. And in other, very important ways, they’re no different at all.

So let’s look at both sides.

How high-asset divorce cases are different

First off, there’s no standard definition of a “high-asset case.” But if your client, for example, ends up with anything north of $2 million, that’s fairly rarefied air.

People this affluent don’t exactly have it all in cash under the mattress. To the contrary: With the increase in assets, there’s a commensurate increase in diversity and complexity.

What, then, is a complex asset? Think of things like a business. Land. Commercial or residential real estate. A partnership. Those are tricky to valuate in the first place, let alone track their value over time. Vacant land may not be income-producing. But a business might be.

None of this sounds like “law,” does it? Because it’s not. This all amounts to financial arcana, so if you want to craft an equitable split—and stand up to whatever financial pro the other party will invariably bring to the table—you need your own pro, a better pro, on your side. (That plug was so shameless, I’m blushing!)

How they’re the same

There may be higher dollar amounts in a high-asset divorce. So that’s different. But a marriage is still a marriage, and kids are still kids. So you need to get to an equitable split of assets with adequate spousal maintenance and/or child support. And as I’d hinted above, you need to make sure that those assets will provide enough cashflow to support your client’s lifestyle, post-divorce. You can’t buy groceries with a non-income-producing vacant lot.

This all boils down to having the right team for you and your client. You provide the legal expertise. A good therapist is often needed to help your client through these difficult times. And someone like me… well, the more assets in play, the higher the stakes, and the more value I can bring.

Book a call with me today. Let me put my expertise to work for you.

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