Filing for a divorce can be stressful, both in terms of your emotions and your finances. While anyone can be affected by both of those issues, the latter becomes even more pressing during a high net worth divorce. It’s becoming an increasingly relevant topic in the news, seeing as several high profile couples – Amber Heard (estimated net worth: $9 million) and Johnny Depp (estimated net worth: $400+ million) as well as Angelina Jolie (estimated net worth: $160 million) and Brad Pitt (estimated net worth: $240 million) – have filed for divorce in the past two months. While your net worth may be different than these celebrities, there are still several mistakes you need to avoid when filing for divorce.
- Agreeing to Terms Just to Rush the Process: Whether you’re looking to speed up the divorce process to get away from your current spouse or to pursue a new love, blindly agreeing to terms will never serve you well. You could find yourself on the hook for massive alimony payments, an unfavorable division of assets, and any number of financial disadvantages you won’t be able to get away from.
- Hiding Assets: While it’s a worryingly common practice – The National Endowment for Financial Education found that more than 30 percent of Americans admitted to financially deceiving their spouse – you need to consider all potential consequences before even beginning to consider hiding your assets through any means, including transferring them to a third party. While penalties can vary depending on the nature of the lies and the state you filed for divorce in, you will likely face severe financial penalties and potentially even jail time.
- Forgetting to Calculate Tax Consequences: Large transfers of money are common in high net worth divorces, and those can come with a significant change to your taxes. Before you agree to any type of settlement, make sure to sit down with your attorney and calculate just how much more you may owe next April so you aren’t caught by surprise.
- Falling Prey to Your Emotions: While it may feel incredibly cathartic to go on an all-out offensive against your soon to be ex-spouse at first, it rarely translates into an outcome you’re happy with. Instigating a contentious divorce often results in a noticeably longer legal battle, which will only end up costing you more money. Pursuing this tactic also increases the chance that your children or family members will find themselves in a position where they need to take sides, potentially creating an irreparable rift between your loved ones.
- Hiring the Wrong Lawyer: The wrong lawyer could cause irreparable damage to your financial future – maybe they want to pursue overly aggressive tactics that will create an extended battle, or maybe they lack the necessary experience to secure you the settlement you need. No matter what the problem is, hiring an attorney that can’t provide you with the assistance and guidance you need to successfully navigate through your divorce could leave you in a position that threatens your ability to live the lifestyle you’ve come to expect.
At Givens Givens Sparks, our Tampa divorce attorneys have more than 135 years of collective experience and are ready to help you secure the settlement you need to move on to the next phase of your life. We understand just how difficult the divorce process can be, which is why we fight for our clients like they’re members of our own family. Fill out our online form to tell us more about your situation, or give us a call at (813) 336-3348 to speak with one of our divorce lawyers today.