Protecting Your Assets During A High Net Worth Divorce
Divorce is an emotional process for many reasons. It is never easy to end a marriage, and many people worry that they will lose the assets most valuable to them during the process. Pennsylvania is an equitable distribution state, which means that all marital property is divided fairly during divorce, and that does not necessarily mean assets and liabilities are split equally. Under this law, neither party will lose everything during a divorce, but your property is still subject to division. Below, our Media property division lawyer outlines how to protect your most valuable assets during divorce.
Identify Your Goals
You should always create a list of your marital property, which includes all assets and liabilities acquired during the marriage. Having a list will not only allow you to see all of the property you own with your spouse at once, but it will also allow you to identify which property you most want to keep post-divorce. When identifying these goals, it is important to consider the emotional and sentimental attachment you have to certain items, as well as the long-term value of specific assets.
Protecting Retirement Accounts
Retirement accounts and other investments are a particular type of asset involved in high net worth divorce cases. Any portion of an investment acquired during the marriage is subject to division, and this can become incredibly complicated. If you and your spouse both have retirement accounts of relatively equal value, you can choose to each keep your own account, eliminating the need to divide either of them.
Consider Taxable and Non-Taxable Property
When assessing the marital property that is subject to division, it is easy to overlook the tax implications of certain assets. For example, you can withdraw the funds from a joint bank account without facing any tax consequences. The same is not always true, though, if you make an early withdrawal from an investment account. As such, if you have a bank account and retirement savings of equal value, you may decide to let your spouse keep one while you keep the other. If you agree to keep the retirement account, it could cost you thousands of dollars just to access the funds.
Refrain from Incurring More Debt
You may think that if you incur substantial debt before your divorce is finalized, it will lower your overall income and potentially even help you obtain more alimony. This is a very big mistake. Family law judges will consider whether you or your spouse incurred significant debt just before your divorce and will likely make you liable for paying it back. Even if you legitimately need to make a large purchase, such as a vehicle, try to wait until your divorce is over so it does not hurt other aspects of your divorce case.
Our Property Division Lawyer in Media Can Help You Protect what is Most Valuable to You
If you are going through a high net worth divorce, you need sound legal advice. At Barbara Flum Stein & Associates, our Media property division lawyer can provide it while protecting your best interests. Call us now at 610-565-6100 or contact us online to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.