6 Tips for Protecting Your Assets and Business Interests in a High Net Worth Divorce
Carol Linden had only been married four years when she and her husband Tom decided to divorce. Although the marriage had been relatively short, Carol knew that she needed to act strategically to protect and preserve her fair share of the marital assets. Carol and Tom did not have much more than a dream when they married, but after taking their small company public two years earlier, they were now quite wealthy. However, Tom managed both the company’s finances and their personal bank accounts. Based on his behavior prior to the separation, Carol suspected that he might be hiding assets or engaging in other unfortunate tactics. What should she – and others in similar situations – do to shield her rights?
- Obtain information about your business and personal assets quickly.
You may need to hire professionals, such as forensic accountants, to trace financial activity to determine, among other things, whether the other spouse has been moving funds around without your knowledge.
- Consider using discreet strategies, like negotiation, to keep your personal business private.
If your divorce goes to litigation, by contrast, your disputes and income (and debts) could become a matter of public record, sparking gossip and potentially harming business interests.
- Work with your partner (and attorney) to figure out how to break the news to your company.
If you own or co-own a business, your divorce could have a profound impact on the employees, vendors, clients and community that you serve. Avoid breaking the news to these people haphazardly, and think about how to mitigate the negative influence of your split on them.
- Avoid moving money or assets around without consulting your lawyer.
For instance, you might be inclined to “give away” a luxury old car or piece of art to your brother prior to separating with the unspoken, unwritten understanding that he will gift the asset back to you after the divorce concludes. This type of behavior is unethical, and it can also create diverse problems during the negotiation and settlement.
- Maintain your business.
High net worth business owners might be tempted to devalue their business assets by, for instance, stalling on a merger or holding off on a client acquisition until the divorce concludes. For similar reasons to the ones we just covered, this is a very bad idea.
- Retain a qualified Maryland divorce attorney who has experience handling sensitive, complex high net worth divorces.
At DiPietro Family Law Group we handle complex property settlement issues involving:
- Home and real estate valuation
- Business asset valuation
- Investment division and protection
- Finding hidden assets
- Tax and debt issues
- Pre-nuptial agreements
- Child support obligations
- Maintenance and alimony
- Pension valuation
Call our team at 301.970.9286 to learn more.
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