Divorce is a tough process for anyone in New York, but it can be harder for people with many assets because they have a lot more to lose and a long list of things to be done to ensure proper division of property. If you have accumulated a substantial number of assets over the years, you may need to proceed more cautiously. Here’s what you need to know about to deal with a high-net-worth divorce.
Divorce in New York
If you get married in New York without a prenuptial agreement, every asset you will acquire while married is subject to equitable distribution during your divorce, including your debts. This is not a 50/50 split but rather a fair and just division. Things that you acquired before marriage as well as inheritances and gifts are your separate property and not subject to division.
However, separate assets can become marital property through commingling. Commingling is when your spouse does anything to increase the value or help you in any way with your separate property.
How to deal with a high-asset divorce
The first thing you ought to do when thinking about divorce or when your spouse asks you for a divorce is to determine which of your assets are separate and which are marital. Even if you are a homemaker while the other spouse is the one that earns and controls your funds, you should still strive to obtain your fair share of the marital assets.
Work closely with your lawyer, forensic accountant, and other professionals to locate all your assets, including your antiques, jewelry, collectibles, guns, boats, cryptocurrencies, artworks, bank and retirement accounts, businesses, investments, etc. Remember that the increase in value of the separate property, while you are married, can also be subject to division.
If you don’t want your divorce to be the subject of public conversation, you can ask the court to seal your sensitive documents. This is important if you want to protect your reputation and dignity.
Since high-net-worth individuals in New York are more vulnerable to losing assets in a divorce, it could be a good idea to start off your marriage with a prenuptial agreement. It can help you establish how the court will divide your assets if you do divorce.