Keeping Your Privacy In a High Asset Divorce
High Net Worth Divorce: Tips For Ensuring Your Business’s Privacy In Arizona
One of the most stressful parts about a divorce is your personal business being dragged out for scrutiny in a public arena. The higher profile your case is, the more difficult it can be to keep your divorce private. Your ex and others may use these personal details to damage your personal and business relationships in the future. There are steps you can take to mitigate the negative effects of divorce when you have a lot on the line.
What Is a High Profile Divorce?
A High Profile Divorce is one in which one or both spouses have significant assets or income, are well known in the community, run a large business, etc. There is no specific number or net worth a person must have to be considered high profile. In fact, high profile divorces often involve assets that are complicated to split, like stock options, voting rights, deferred compensation, and more. A high profile person has an interest in keeping their personal and professional life as confidential as possible. A non-profile spouse may use this knowledge to their advantage in a divorce. Drawing out proceedings to keep accounts frozen and subpoenaing documents about sensitive affairs are tactics the non-profile spouse can use to leverage a more favorable settlement.
Things To Know About a High Asset Divorce In Arizona
You will probably need a Phoenix divorce attorney, as well as other divorce professionals: The more assets there are, the more complicated it is to split the marital estate. You may need to hire an accountant or tax professional to help you and your spouse properly describe all of your debts and assets. An attorney will help you with your QDRO, or Qualified Domestic Relations Order, which splits pension accounts in Arizona in a divorce. A forensic accountant or CPA may be necessary for other retirement and investment accounts. This is especially true if one of the spouses owns a business, or the spouses own a business together.
It may serve you well to combine estate planning with your divorce: When there are substantial assets on the table, it may kill two birds with one stone to provide for your children, charitable giving, etc. after death. This works best when the spouses are civil and both have an interest in completing estate planning during the divorce. Ask your AZ family attorney about your estate planning options during your initial consultation.
Subpoenas have a broad reach: Your spouse may subpoena several documents in your divorce to provide a full depiction of your financial situation. There are few restrictions to what can be subpoenaed, such as attorney-client privileged documents. You are legally obligated to provide any documents that aren’t privileged. A reputable family law attorney in Arizona will help you determine which of your subpoenaed documents are protected by different privileges.
Be aware of applicable property division laws. Some states use equitable division to divide assets in a divorce, but Arizona is a community property state. All assets- and debts- acquired during the marriage will be split between the couple upon divorce. This can also include less tangible assets, like an increase in the value of a business or retirement account contributions.
Issues To Avoid In a High Profile Divorce
1. Don’t Assume You’re Already Aware Of All Income & Assets
Your spouse may have hidden assets in anticipation of a divorce, or even before that point. There are several ways a spouse can hide income, regardless of how much they make. An AZ family law attorney can help you ensure that the financial aspect of your divorce is transparent so that each spouse will leave the marriage with a fair share. Your Mesa divorce attorney may request temporary orders to prevent your spouse from hiding assets during the divorce.
2. Don’t Plan Your Future Around Your Spouse’s Inheritance
Several of our clients come to us with a story about working for years to financially support a spouse who promises to shoulder their financial obligations once they receive an expected inheritance. Inheritance and gifts are separate property in Arizona, and are not subject to property division with the rest of the marital estate in a divorce. While assets acquired through gift or inheritance may eventually become commingled community assets, it’s better to not count your eggs before they hatch when it comes to property division.
3. Don’t Start Unnecessary Conflicts With Your Spouse During The Divorce
Tensions will already be high during a high profile divorce, so don’t do anything to fuel the flame. This will make the divorce easier on anyone else involved, including minor children. Some communication between the spouses may be necessary during the divorce. If so, keep conversation topics strictly related to divorce or co-parenting matters. Don’t dredge up old disputes from your romantic relationship. An amicable relationship will lead to a less stressful divorce, and positive effects if you have children.
4. Don’t Broadcast Details Of Your Divorce On Social Media
Twitter, Facebooks, and other websites provide everyone with a 24/7 sounding board for all their thoughts and emotions. If you frequently post on social media, it will be tempting to post about your divorce while the matter is still pending. Conversations about your divorce are best left for trusted friends and loved ones, your attorney, and your therapist. It can be permanently damaging to post these types of things if you are a high profile spouse, and eliminates your hand if you are married to a high profile spouse.
5. Don’t Limit The Possibilities When Considering a Property Division Settlement
When there are substantial assets subject to division in a divorce, there are more possibilities of how to split up the estate. Depending on the spouses’ objectives, a compromise may come to mind almost instantly, or may take further negotiation and brainstorming before an agreement can be reached. An experienced family law attorney in Tempe may be able to come up with solutions that will benefit you more than how a judge would typically rule on property division. Mediation may be an opportunity for the divorcing spouses to collaborate on a mutually beneficial divorce agreement.
Contact our Arizona High Asset Divorce Lawyers Today
When you’re facing a high profile divorce, it’s vital that your interests are protected by an experienced, dedicated family lawyer. While some couples are able to represent themselves in a divorce, they typically have few assets to divide. Our Arizona divorce attorneys have the experience and savvy to help you with your high profile divorce.
With more at stake, a family law attorney in Arizona will work as your legal advocate to achieve your best possible outcome in the divorce. This can help you achieve a mutually beneficial outcome in a shorter time frame. To learn more about how our Arizona High Profile Divorce Lawyers can assist during a high conflict and major asset divorce. Call (480) 263-1699 today to schedule your free and confidential initial consultation.