There is much to lose in a high asset divorce, and things can go wrong without an experienced attorney. Litigating complex issues involving alimony, retirement accounts, businesses and other investments requires the skill of a competent lawyer. Most lawyers are familiar with how to present a persuasive argument. However, this basic legal skill is not enough in a complicated divorce. A divorce involving large amounts of money and multiple investments can only be handled properly by an attorney who knows how to find facts that are not readily apparent. The main way a high asset divorce lawyer can help is by using legal tools to discover hidden investments.
Hidden Investments In A High-Asset Divorce
It is no secret that spouses often try to hide their assets in divorce proceedings. A spouse might transfer money to a private bank account, or to another person pending the outcome of the divorce. A spouse who owns a business might comingle personal funds into a corporate account. Or one spouse might simply have never informed the other spouse about pensions, retirement accounts, or investment properties.
An experienced high asset divorce lawyer knows how to discover these hidden investments. This is important since the only way to obtain a fair property division or award of alimony is to bring the opposing spouse’s financial resources to the court’s attention. Simply presenting a compelling argument will be useless if the assets remain hidden.
Fortunately, high asset divorce lawyers know ways to discover hidden finances. The attorney will often work with forensic experts to examine the spouse’s lifestyle. The investigation will not only involve interrogatories and requests for documents, but also motions to compel sufficient responses to these discovery requests. The attorney will also depose the opposing spouse and expose any discrepencies between their lifestyle and the discovery responses. A lawyer with experience in high asset divorce litigation will also issue subpoenas to the spouse’s business associates, financial institutions, stock brokers and others in order to further probe for hidden investments.
Problems can arise when the high-income spouse files paperwork with the court requesting a protective order designed to prevent or limit the investigation. This is what makes a lawyer absolutely necessary. A competent lawyer familiar with the applicable law can enforce your right to fully investigate the spouse’s financial affairs.
Once the assets are discovered, the lawyer can do two important things. First, the lawyer can use the information to put pressure on the opposing spouse to enter into an agreement and settle the high asset divorce out of court. This avoids the time and cost of trial while also offering you peace of mind. Second, if negotiations do not result in an agreement that meets your needs, the lawyer will have the evidence necessary to present the spouse’s complex financial affairs in a clear and understandable manner.