Choosing to end your marriage is a difficult decision. It doesn’t become easier if you and your spouse have significant assets. Because Washington is a community property state, you and your spouse will have to split your marital assets evenly. However, first you must account for them, which isn’t easy when you have multiple assets and complicated investments.
What you may not realize is how preparing for you divorce can help you avoid making costly mistakes. So, here are five important tips when preparing for a high-asset divorce:
- Gather all your financial information. You need to gather all your bank account statements, recent W-2s, tax records, your mortgage information for any properties you own, your 401K and other investment statements. If you own a business, you’ll need to gather those financial records. If you have debts, you’ll need a record of what those are too.
- Hire an experienced attorney who has handled high-asset divorces. You need the help of an attorney to ensure you have accounted for all your assets and to help determine what is marital property you’ll split with your spouse and what is separate property.
- Don’t try to hide your assets. Trying to hide assets in a divorce is never a good idea. Those assets could be found by your spouse and his or her attorney. The court could force you to split those assets, and if you don’t, you could face jail time.
- Get your home and business evaluated for how much they are worth. You will need a current value for your home, business or vacation home, so you know how much those assets are worth. Then, you and your spouse will need to decide how to split those assets. You may need to buy your spouse out of their share of the family home or business if you want to keep it.
- Keep the details of your divorce private. You may want to keep the financial details of your high-asset divorce private. You could seek to have your divorce records sealed. You also need to be careful about what you post on social media. You don’t want to post photos showing a new car you bought or an expensive vacation you took. That information could be used against you in court.
Resolving a high-asset divorce will take time. You may need to adjust your lifestyle, so you can live on less after your divorce. Yet with an attorney’s help, you can avoid making costly mistakes that will impact you more than necessary.