When a married couple acquires a vast amount of wealth and property during the course of their marriage, a subsequent divorce could lead to tumultuous legal proceedings. From there, the legal process risks devolving into a competition to see who can get the most of the divorce. However, divorce isn’t a game to win.
If you are about to get a divorce involving substantially valuable assets, you should retain the professional services of a Spokane high asset divorce attorney.
Why Choose Twyford Law Office
Our legal team has served Washington residents for over 30 years.
We can take the reins of your divorce so you don’t have to stress about the details.
Furthermore, we will guide you through each phase of the divorce process to keep you in the loop when you need to make an important decision about your divorce.
Call (509) 327-0777 to speak with one of our skilled high net worth divorce lawyers at Twyford Law Office today.
Property Division in Washington
The division of property in a divorce case is based on community property principles. When people get a divorce, Washington courts will divide assets in the spouses’ community property estate between them. Property that is acquired during marriage qualifies as community property. When a spouse acquires property before marriage or after divorce, that property is considered their sole separate property. Additionally, property acquired by the spouse in their sole name during marriage through gift, bequest, or devise constitutes the spouse’s separate property as well.
The community estate can involve more than just real estate and cars. The court will divide all types of property interests during divorce proceedings.
The following items are commonly involved in high-asset divorces and must be disclosed as they may be subject to division:
Intellectual property rights
Retirement plans and pensions
Personal injury damages
Stock voting rights
Tax benefits such as a capital loss carry-forward
Life insurance policies, proceeds, and annuities
Avoiding Mistakes in a High Asset Divorce
Couples who are divorcing with substantial assets face a unique set of obstacles, especially in regards to valuing and equitably dividing assets that both parties accumulated throughout the marriage. It will often entail the detangling of an intricate web of joint assets that can be difficult to divide fairly. This often leads to highly contested divorces that can potentially be costly. Working with effective legal counsel who specifically handles high-asset divorce cases will help protect a spouse’s rights and interests, especially when one of these common issues arises:
Separate property vs. community property
Managing, determining the value of, and dividing real estate properties
Valuation of closely-held businesses and professional partnerships
Resolving concerns related to the ownership of a business
Valuing and dividing an investment portfolio
Splitting multiple retirement accounts and life insurance policies
Determining the couple’s quality of life during the marriage, then making determinations about child support and alimony
Dividing marital debts
In some instances, a spouse may attempt to hide assets before filing for divorce in order to keep them from their husband or wife. This may be done, for example, by making cash purchases, transferring assets to family or friends, or delaying accepting a bonus or raise until after the divorce is final. Spouses who suspect they are being deceived have the option of hiring a forensic accountant to locate the hidden assets so they may be divided by the court.
Another mistake that can be avoided by working with a divorce attorney is the waiving of any rights to the marital estate. One partner may be more financially savvy than the other and can use this to their advantage by preventing the other from claiming their half.
Protecting Your Assets in a Divorce
If divorce is imminent, having documentation will be vital in determining your fair share of the assets. Begin by gathering records for all jointly held accounts, properties, and assets, that way you can also help prevent any tangible assets from being hidden by your spouse. Examples of documentation can include tax returns, wills, trusts, financial statements, banking information, brokerage statements, loan applications and documents, credit card statements, deeds to property, car registrations, insurance inventories, insurance policies, as well as any records that can trace and verify an inheritance, gift, or any other separate property. When separate property cannot be proven, then it is community property and a court can divide it. Also, create an inventory of all household goods and their value, by using receipts or an appraiser. Antiques and heirlooms can be appraised by a professional.
A carefully crafted prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can also save you the loss of considerable assets, as well as the expense of legal fees. However, there are instances in which an agreement can be thrown out, such as being improperly executed or if a spouse provided inaccurate information. A judge can determine if the circumstances surrounding the signing of the document weren’t fair or if certain provisions in the document are unfair to one of the parties.
Call Our Spokane High Asset Divorce Attorneys
To avoid turning your high-asset divorce into a mud-slinging contest, you should seek legal representation from an experienced Spokane high net worth divorce lawyer. At Twyford Law Office, we have dedicated more than 30 years of our practice to helping Spokane residents through various legal matters, including high-asset divorces. We are committed to providing you with comprehensive legal solutions. We will stay honest about the legal strategy we implement in your divorce, to make sure you are always making sound decisions backed by relevant legal information.