If you are one-half of a high-asset union in the St. Louis area and considering divorce, you might believe you have things all figured out. You have probably thought about ending the relationship for some time. Though you might have taken measures to prepare for this kind of event before you exchanged vows with your spouse, divorce is not always easy.
Regardless of how amicable things may seem between you and your spouse now, they might not remain that way. With concerns about property division, child custody and alimony (called “maintenance” in the Missouri Statutes) on your mind, you might realize that you are not as prepared for divorce as you would like to be. To make the separation easier for everyone, consider the following pointers on high-asset divorce:
Do you really own what you say you do?
Do you know the name, ownership status and value of every asset you and your partner purchased during the marriage? It may seem obvious to you which of you should keep what in the divorce, but in the eyes of the law, the courts will prevail. For you to keep separately-owned property that you believe belongs to you, you must have documents proving ownership. Any assets that you cannot prove belong to you are subject to division in your divorce.
Is your spouse trying to cheat you?
One issue that often arises in high-value divorces is hidden assets. If your partner suddenly has trouble locating assets, accounts and funds, she or he may be trying to cheat you by hiding them. There are a few ways you can circumvent your spouse’s intentions in 30 minutes. Take pictures of the items and document where they were last kept, keep copies of all financial transactions and accounts and hire a forensic accountant to help you locate disappearing or hidden items and funds.
It is not easy for couples to share assets once their marriages fall apart. The rules of property division are often more complex in high-asset separations. It is important for you to prepare and use every available resource to ensure a favorable divorce settlement.