Any divorce can involve very sensitive and complex issues, some of which may require weeks or months to negotiate. These complications are escalated exponentially when a divorcing couple controls substantial assets. Additionally, a high net worth divorce inherently diminishes most divorcing spouses’ willingness to compromise, and vast sums of money on the table can cause some divorcing spouses to lose all semblance of agreeableness and fight bitterly for as much as they can possibly get out of their divorces.
If you are preparing for a high net worth divorce in Oklahoma City, OK, it is essential to know what to expect from your forthcoming divorce proceedings and what you can do to ensure they proceed smoothly. High net worth divorces typically require addressing highly complicated financial questions, researching ownership records, and handling complex financial negotiations between divorcing spouses. Make sure you hire an Oklahoma City, OK divorce attorney who has solid experience handling high net worth divorce cases to handle your own case.
Gather Records and Evidence
One of the most important factors in any high net worth divorce is the value and the nature of the assets the couple controls. It’s not uncommon for high net worth spouses to each control separate, individual property as well as shared property with their spouse. In some high net worth divorce cases, spouses may challenge each other’s ownership rights and contest different assets’ values or availability for division. The records you keep will be instrumental in establishing property ownership rights for all types of assets in a high net worth divorce.
Your Oklahoma City, OK divorce attorney can help you determine which records and documents you will need to support your position in your high net worth divorce case. You may need to produce prenuptial contracts, bank statements, stock portfolio records, investment records, and various other financial documents to prove your ownership rights over certain assets and ensure an equitable outcome in your divorce case.
Work With Experts
A good Oklahoma City, OK divorce lawyer will coordinate expert witness testimony to assist in your high net worth divorce case. In some cases, this may not be optional, and an attorney will need to consult with a professional expert to gain an accurate understanding of certain aspects of the case. Expert witnesses can act in many different capacities to assist in a high net worth divorce. For example, forensic accountants are adept at tracing financial records and paper trails, uncovering hidden assets and fudged numbers to help ensure accurate financial reporting in divorce proceedings.
Expert witnesses generally perform one of two roles in a high net worth divorce. They may act as consultants and provide professional opinions to a legal team about a specific aspect of a case or testify in court to provide the court with a clearer understanding of a complex issue. Your attorney could also consult with a tax advisor if you are unsure about the tax implications of property division in your high net worth divorce. Your attorney will help you determine which, if any, expert witnesses could be helpful in your divorce case.
Commit to Completely Honest Disclosure
It can be very painful to think of sharing your assets with a soon-to-be ex-spouse, but the reality is that division of property, even very valuable property, is the price of divorce in Oklahoma. While it may be tempting to try and hide certain assets or properties from your spouse in a high net worth divorce, doing so can come with extreme penalties. You may end up paying your ex more than you would have had you been honest. It’s possible to even face criminal charges for fraud as well.
An experienced Oklahoma City, OK divorce attorney can assist in the procurement of the financial records you must produce and provide any supplemental documentation required for the records to be accepted by the court. As long as you are as transparent as possible, being forthcoming with your records is one of the best ways to ensure a fair outcome in a high net worth divorce.
Consult Your Attorney to Navigate Equitable Distribution Laws
Oklahoma follows an equitable distribution law for handling property division in divorce, meaning the state generally strives to ensure that divorcing spouses emerge from a divorce on reasonably equal financial footing. In a high net worth divorce case, equitable distribution laws can actually be advantageous, allowing divorcing spouses to essentially trade assets and transfer ownership as necessary instead of liquidating assets and splitting the proceeds. This time-consuming process often incurs penalties for early withdrawals or account cancellation. Your attorney can help you prepare for how the state’s equitable distribution laws will come into play in your divorce case.
Push for Mediation If Possible
Divorce mediation has become the preferred method for handling divorce in the United States for several reasons. It is primarily cheaper and more cost-effective to mediate a divorce than to litigate it in court. The parties involved will also reach results much faster and retain more control over the outcome of the divorce than they would by leaving the decision in the hands of a judge.
If your high net worth divorce case goes to court, you run the risk of complex financial issues being handled by people who do not fully understand their gravity and long-term implications. Mediation provides a relaxed atmosphere in which a divorcing couple can privately negotiate a high net worth divorce, meet with experts who can clarify difficult financial questions, and ultimately reach a more agreeable conclusion. Your attorney should encourage you to explore divorce mediation if your spouse is open to the idea.
Secure Reliable Legal Counsel Immediately
Perhaps the most important factor in navigating a high net worth divorce is the quality of your legal representation. If you are ending your marriage in Oklahoma City, OK and you know that the proceedings will involve very complicated financial issues, do not wait to reach out to an attorney. The sooner you begin developing your case, the better your chances are of ensuring a fair and agreeable outcome.