When a married couple decides they no longer have the desire to stay together, they will likely have a number of issues to settle. After all, a marriage is a legal bond, and thus there are several steps required to dissolve the relationship. If the couple accumulated substantial wealth during the marriage, the divorce proceedings could become complicated and even contentious.
There are two very important things that a divorcing couple can do to account for their assets prior to entering divorce negotiations. The first is to make a thorough list of all of their financial assets. One way a spouse can find out about the other spouse’s holdings is to look at their tax returns. Additionally, if one spouse owns a business, the other spouse should attempt to find out how lucrative that business has been over the years.
It is also a good idea to have the assets appraised. Items that are held jointly may need appraising to get an accurate estimation of what they are actually worth. Sometimes the perceived value of items such as antiques, works of art, jewelry and furs is not the same as their actual value. An appraisal can help spouses understand which items may be worth fighting for versus those that are not worth the effort.
Many couples have assets sizable enough to make the division process extremely complex. Taking the above-mentioned steps can help clarify what is at stake and may help speed up the process of dividing assets.
On the other hand, a rush to settle could lead to one of the parties receiving an unfair share of the assets. This is why if you are involved in a high asset divorce, it behooves you to get experienced legal representation. A savvy family law attorney could help you determine the value of your shared wealth and work toward making sure you receive an appropriate settlement.