Identifying property in high-asset divorces

On Behalf of | Aug 4, 2021 | Marital Asset Division

Washington is a community property state, and this means if you get a divorce, you and your spouse are supposed to divide your marital assets equally. You do not have to divide each one exactly in half, of course, but in most cases, you should each have about 50% of the total shared property once the divorce is final.

Complex assets

If you are going through a high-asset divorce, there may be complications in identifying all the assets. While there are divorces in which one person tries to hide assets, these are the types of assets people may forget about even when they are trying to be completely honest. Others may simply be very complex. For example, executives may receive restricted stock units as a form of deferred compensation. This cannot be transferred even in a divorce, so a decision needs to be made about how to value it and how to will make sure the non-employee spouse gets assets of equal value.

Military benefits and pensions

If you or your spouse is in the military, you need to figure out what kind of benefits the non-military spouse may be able to keep. This depends on several factors, including the length of the marriage. Government employees most likely have a pension, but people who work for private companies might as well. This will require a valuation.

Cryptocurrency

Increasingly, people may also have Bitcoin or other forms of cryptocurrency. This can be challenging to trace and value, and you may need to work with a financial professional.

A good first step for anyone who is considering divorce is to gather as much financial information as possible. This might include statements from various accounts, pay stubs, tax returns, and more. If you did not work outside the home or earned substantially less than your spouse and did not deal with finances much, you may be at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating property division. This information can be particularly helpful to you in understanding what assets are jointly owned and what your financial situation may be like after the divorce.