Divorce can present financial issues that range from simple to complex. For couples with a high net worth divorce, the proceedings can be especially complicated thanks to factors like real estate partnerships, business ownership, assets held in a trust, and stock options. A high asset divorce attorney in Oklahoma City can safeguard your interests and ensure all assets are properly divided and even save you money in the process.

8 Reasons You Need a High Asset Divorce Attorney in Oklahoma City

1. Save Money

It may seem counterintuitive that a lawyer can save you money, but litigating a divorce incurs substantial fees and costs. Especially in high asset cases, divorce courts require assets to be properly valued. This means valuation professionals must be paid for their time and knowledge. Likewise, equitable factors must be considered when dividing property, requiring more time in court as the judge sorts through different assets and their corresponding values.

Your lawyer can reduce expenses simply by keeping your case out of court. A settlement achieved by way of negotiation or mediation helps minimize court fees and even reduce the monies owed to your attorney. Look at it this way: you can either pay your attorney to litigate and prolong the divorce, or you can keep more money in your pocket and reach a fair resolution more quickly.

Mediation Assistance

In mediation, you and your Oklahoma City divorce attorney will meet with your spouse and their attorney. The goal is to reach a mutual agreement on the terms of your divorce. This provides you with much greater control over the outcome than traditional litigation offers.

It’s important to recognize that just because mediation is more faster and less expensive, it’s far from a casual methodology. Significant organization and planning are both required to achieve the desired results. Your lawyer will need to deftly value, plan, and negotiate, meaning mediation is indeed a viable way to resolve your high asset divorce.

2. Help Appraise Assets with Complicated Valuations

High-asset divorce attorneys can assist with valuing complex properties. They may not be able to do this by themselves, but they can call upon a network of actuaries and other appraisal professionals.

To illustrate, your lawyer can contact art curators and/or gallery owners to assist with valuing an art collection. They can also contact financial advisors to properly value business investments. The point is that having access to these professionals can help streamline the divorce process and ensure all of your assets are fairly valued.

3. Investigate Hidden Assets

In a high net worth divorce, it can be relatively easy for one spouse to hide assets. Money, property, and other items can be tucked away without being missed because of the larger number of assets in the first place. Likewise, business owners can and sometimes do use their companies to hide assets during a high-asset divorce.

But hidden assets can damage the other spouse’s financial health and lead to legal consequences for the accused party. A skilled high net-worth divorce attorney will explain your options and fight to ensure all assets are accounted for and fairly divided. To illustrate, they can use subpoenas during the discovery process to gather relevant information. And, if necessary, your attorney can ask a forensic accountant to help them find hidden assets.

4. Identify Overlooked Property

Overlooked assets are often thought to be the same as hidden assets, but that’s not always the case. A couple with numerous financial holdings and a diverse catalog of investments may simply forget about a certain asset during a high net-worth divorce. The same is true when a couple owns multiple properties – accounting for each one can be difficult, especially if assets are held in other countries or under business entities.

Just as easily, a couple can forget about the Oklahoma City startup they invested in. Again, these situations can be successfully handled with an experienced high asset divorce attorney by your side. They’ll help identify overlooked property so the divorce decree accurately reflects the fruits of your marriage.

5. Protect Your Business Interests

High net worth couples tend to have business holdings, such as equity interest in a medical practice group with other physicians. Such holdings mean the couple must make decisions that will impact the rest of their lives. And dividing the shared interest of a business with your spouse is often mentally and emotionally difficult. 

High-asset divorce attorneys can strategize with business valuators and accountants to develop practical payment schemes that permit the business to continue thriving. In the meantime, you won’t lose everything you’ve worked so hard to build. The goal is to formulate a financial arrangement that provides both you and your spouse with a fair interest in your community estate, which may invovle a buy-out of a business interest, so that one party maintains the business interest and the other spouse recieved different compensation for thier interest.

Communicate With Business Partners

Your attorney can also help you craft a statement to let business partners know what’s coming around the bend. They can even arrange a meeting so all shareholders understand the next steps and what to expect as your high net-worth divorce moves forward.

6. Deter From Common Mistakes

Some spouses, even when many assets have been acquired during the marriage, know shockingly little about the state of their financial affairs. They may have no knowledge of certain stock ownership or the balance owed on a mortgage. Rather than remain in the dark, these spouses need to begin documenting what they do know. An experienced high asset divorce attorney will likely recommend you:

  • Document the assets you are aware of
  • Gather all possible paperwork pertaining to those assets
  • Learn where the assets are located
  • Discover how they can be accessed

It’s also important if you have a new romantic partner to keep that relationship out of the spotlight. Bringing a love interest to mediation or court can supercharge what is likely an already emotional case. Your spouse may even feel moved to prolong negotiations and delay the divorce. High asset divorce cases are often contentious enough without uncessary stress. Therefore, keep new relationships out of the picture as long as you can. It may increase your likelihood of settlement and potentially save you thousands of dollars in attorney fees and towards the settlement agreement you reach.

Relations With Your Spouse

Many spouses in the midst of divorce think they should stop all interaction with each other, but in many divorce cases, lawyers advise against this. Keeping an open and friendly line of communication between each other can facilitate your high asset divorce process.

If the two of you continually end your interactions in an argument, however, it may be better to communicate only by text or email. You can then keep copies of these exchanges for your divorce lawyer to use in court, if necessary.

7. Separate Assets Properly

If you or your spouse has inherited assets or those acquired before the marriage, your lawyer will need to take special care. This is why one of the first questions you’ll likely be asked is how and when all assets were acquired. Assets that are “separate,” or owned prior to the marriage, likely will not be divided in the divorce. But “marital” assets must be accounted for.

Proving the difference between separate and marital assets can be complex. Your high asset divorce lawyer will ask for documentation or other records that substantiate the information you give them. Tracing is a necessary step in documenting the separate nature of an asset in your divorce.

8. Keep Court Filings Private

Couples with great wealth and significant assets may not want the details of their life together publicly disclosed in a high asset divorce proceeding. Your divorce lawyer can ask the court to seal certain types of documents. If this request is granted you, your spouse, and your divorce attorneys – will be legally allowed to view the final documents. Additionally, your experienced high asset divorce attorney may file your divorce petition and other court documents in a way that they will not be visible on OSCN or in general to the public.

If you’re considering a divorce and have significantly assets, it’s crucial you choose the right legal team to represent your interests in your high net-worth divorce. They can help you maintain amicable communication with your spouse, investigate hidden assets, and ensure all property is properly valued. To learn more about our services, contact Cannon & Associates, PLLC, today.