For high-earning couples, or those with significant assets, ending a marriage can be a costly process. However, as for any divorce in Michigan, with proper planning and professional guidance, even a high net worth divorce can be navigated without breaking the bank. In most cases, if one spouse accumulated substantial assets before the wedding, there will likely be a prenuptial agreement. However, dividing property that the couple gathered during the marriage could be more challenging.
If property division becomes confusing and contentious, it may be wise to list all assets methodically. That includes anything with a value such as properties, businesses, homes, boats and cars along with furniture, computers, artwork, guns, collectibles and jewelry. Make sure no asset is forgotten and dig a bit deeper to unearth those that may be hidden by the other party. The next step would be to separate personal and marital property before negotiations about the division of marital property can start.
Although assets owned by one party before the marriage typically remain his or her property, and the same is true with inheritances received by one partner during the marriage, there are some things of which to take note. If personal assets were commingled with the marital property, the commingled property would no longer be separate. Also, any appreciation of personal assets during the marriage — or income derived from them — may be regarded as marital property by the court.
An experienced Michigan divorce attorney can provide valuable guidance and support throughout the gathering of asset information. The lawyers for both parties can also assist during the negotiation process to ensure fair property division. Furthermore, because high net worth couples typically want to keep their financial affairs private, a skilled attorney may petition the court to order the sealing of certain documents with access only to those with a legitimate interest.
Source: FindLaw, “3 Practical Legal Tips for High Asset Divorce“, George Khoury, Accessed on Aug. 5, 2017