If you are currently going through a high net worth divorce, you need to take care to not let your emotions get the best of you and push you to make a potentially terrible decision that seriously affects your future. Some of the most common mistakes made include:
Giving in to Your Emotions
Depending on your situation, it may be tempting to give in and launch a full-scale attack on your soon-to-be ex-spouse in the courtroom. There are many “bulldog” lawyers out there who will gladly support you in this endeavor, but in many cases this approach leads to escalating conflicts and an outcome that neither party is happy with. It could drag the legal battle on for weeks, if not months, and cost you more money in the long term. This tactic can also force your children or other family members to pick sides and create rifts that last long after the final papers are signed.
Lying about Your Assets
According to the National Endowment for Financial Education, more than 30 percent of people admitted to lying about their assets to their spouses. While this is a worryingly common practice, there are a number of consequences you need to consider before attempting to hide your assets or transferring them to a third party. There are a number of penalties you could face depending on what you attempt to hide and how you choose to hide them, including significant financial penalties and even jail time.
Agreeing to Unfavorable Terms
While you may be looking for any way to speed up the divorce process in order to move on with your new love, get away from your current spouse, or simply move past this part of your life, agreeing to terms without fully understanding the consequences could put you in a disadvantageous position in the future. You may wind up without the assets you need, responsible for excessive alimony payments, and a number of other financial consequences you may not be able to get out of in the future.
Overlooking Potential Tax Consequences
Because high net worth divorces often include transferring large sums of money of valuable assets, you need to be careful about the potential changes to your taxes. It’s important to sit down with your attorney to go over the numbers before signing anything so you aren’t caught by surprise next April.
Hiring an Attorney Who Isn’t Right for You
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the most damaging things you can do to your case is hiring the wrong attorney. Maybe they prefer more aggressive tactics than you’re comfortable with, maybe they lack the courtroom experience you need for your case, or maybe they have too many cases already on their plate and can’t devote the attention necessary to secure a beneficial outcome. No matter the reason, the wrong attorney will put you in a bad position moving forward and could potentially jeopardize your financial future.
Stann Givens is the founding partner of law firm Givens Givens Sparks, located in Tampa, Florida. A board certified attorney in marital law, he has accumulated many accolades, including "Lawyer of the Year" 2016 by Best Lawyers® in the area of family law in Tampa. To contact Stann Givens, call him at (813) 375-0109 or visit the firm’s website at http://www.givenssparks.com/.