Five Reasons High Net Worth Virginia Divorces are Different

Whether you need a Virginia divorce lawyer to handle a complex dispute over a marital estate; or you’re wondering how a potential split might impact a business that you grew together with your spouse over the past 10 years, consider the following five factors that distinguish high net worth divorces from other types of separations.

1. More assets (and liabilities) can lead to more lengthy and contentious legal disputes.

If you and your spouse own a home, a few savings and checking accounts, and some incidental property and jewelry together, your estate will only be so complicated. However, if you and your spouse own multiple properties, diverse types of real estate and major businesses, the scope of the estate will demand more attention. As a Hollywood agent might put it, “the stakes are higher” in these types of divorces.

2. What’s at stake in the divorce could inspire less than ethical actions.

For instance, one spouse who owns a business may try to hide that business’s assets or divest them prior to the divorce process. Or people outside of the marriage (such as a paramour or unethical family member or even a business competitor) may try to volley to acquire certain assets during the process.

3. Often, one spouse does not have much of a clue about what’s in the estate and what the estate owes.

For instance, maybe one spouse had been a stay at home parent, while the other spouse ran a big company. The stay at home parent might not have any idea exactly how much the family owns, where the assets are kept, and what happens with the household’s books.

4. Children can complicate the divorce settlement in unique ways.

For instance, in a normal divorce, parents understandably fight aggressively for legal and physical custody. In a high net worth divorce, parents also fight for their children, but some people unfortunately use custody as a bargaining chip.

5. The divorce can impact the couple’s business (or businesses) in diverse ways.

For instance, consider the recent split between billionaire Harold Hamm and his wife, Sue Ann Hamm. Prior to the divorce, their company was valued at $18 billion. By the time they settled, their company’s value had dwindled to $13.9 billion.

For help understanding how to handle your high net worth divorce in a sensible, strategic and compassionate fashion, call the Virginia divorce lawyers at DiPietro Family Law Group, PLLC at (703) 370-5555 to set up a consultation with us. We can help you regain peace of mind and obtain your goals.

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