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Protecting Assets in a Divorce

Divorce is as much a financial blow as it is an emotional one. Alimony and child support may take a large, even unreasonable amount out of your monthly paycheck. Conversely, if your income is much smaller than your soon-to-be-ex-spouse’s, or if you stayed at home to look after the family, you might find yourself in dire financial straits if you are not awarded a just settlement.   You deserve a divorce settlement that takes into account your circumstances and your contributions to the marriage— and financial, logistical, or emotional. In this article, you will find three steps to follow to protect your assets in divorce and reach the settlement that is best for you.   I. Be Open and Honest—and Savvy  On your end, it is important not to hide any of your assets.  Hiding your assets, or even appearing to hide your assets, may be used against you in court by your spouse and his or her counsel.   In fact, most people’s attempts to hide their assets—by spending large amounts of cash—fail to improve their divorce outcomes. This is for two reasons. First, because Massachusetts family courts take into account income (earnings) rather than expenditure (spending). Second, because assets are defined as more than cash, excessive spending fails to protect non-liquid holdings like stocks, bonds, and even intellectual property.   To understand the full scope of your assets, it is worth investing in professional help to you value and locate them. This way you can have the knowledge you

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Pitfalls of A High Net Worth Divorce

While divorce is prevalent across the country, each case is different. Real estate, business ownership, and significant financial interests can put you in high-asset divorce territory. Couples experiencing a high-asset divorce are prone to a number of common mistakes, all of which can be avoided. Like other marriages, high net worth couples don’t divorce without reason. From addictions to infidelity, extreme differences in parenting styles and growing apart, divorce always stems from one issue or another. In the case of a high net worth divorce, significant assets, such as business interests, real estate, large retirement accounts, investments, and valuable collectibles will need to be valued and considered for asset division. The process can be time-consuming and complicated. To reduce stress and ensure a smooth asset division process, avoid the following pitfalls. Mistake #1: Making Emotional Decisions Guilt can be a huge factor in a high net worth divorce. A spouse with a guilty conscience can be subject to making emotionally-based decisions. This frame of mind can have detrimental effects when making financial decisions about divorce. Anger is another emotion that can impact sound decision making. Withholding information or acting out of spite will slow the process. Rely on your attorney’s council to help you make clear-headed decisions.

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