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How to prepare for a high-asset divorce

The dissolution of any marriage involves financial, emotional and physical challenges. However, high-asset divorces are even more complex.

Dissolutions that involve significant assets are equitably but not necessarily equally distributed among the parties. Therefore, your high-asset divorce may require a bit more preparation and understanding.

Learn about different asset classes

Most couples have both community and separate property. Separate assets are those that you brought into the marriage. These are typically exempt from property division.

Community, or marital, assets are those that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. Even if you are the primary breadwinner and purchased these assets with your income, the judge will typically pursue equitable distribution.

List all assets

It is against the law to hide assets from the property division process. Therefore, list everything in your paperwork, including your physical property and financial investments. If you want specific marital assets, negotiate for them instead of hiding them.

Investigate the division process

Judges divide marital assets based on marriage length, property value, debt, written agreements and expected future costs. If your former spouse depends on you economically, expect to compromise.

Pursue an amicable relationship

You can accelerate your divorce by maintaining an amicable, trusting relationship with your former spouse. Your negotiation process may also be smoother because you should be able to reason with your opposition.

Build creative settlement solutions

Look for creative settlement options and maintain flexibility during negotiations. For example, you can ask for ownership of a business you started during your marriage and offer stock options or other investments in return.

If you have significant community assets, seek your desired outcome by understanding the process and working with your former spouse.