High-Asset Divorce

Navigating the Emotional and Financial Challenges of a High-Asset Divorce

People often assume that having more money makes every aspect of life easier. While it can definitely take the edge off of certain problems, it can become a significant liability during divorce. High-asset divorces tend to be much more time-consuming than standard divorces, simply because there is so much to fight over and divide fairly. As you prepare for your divorce, it’s crucial to know what to expect and understand your options.

Ready to start your Charleston divorce case? Call Pence Law Firm at 304-345-7250 to set up a consultation with our team right away.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Financial Assessment

Before you can make any real plans or decisions regarding your high-asset divorce, you need an extensive assessment of your finances. This goes beyond your bank account balances, extending to an entire inventory of your assets, balances of retirement accounts, and information about when each of these assets was acquired. 

For example, if you had a high-value retirement account prior to getting married, much of it may be considered separate property—but anything you contributed to it during your marriage would be considered marital property, which means it would likely be divided.

You’ll also want to document the various income streams funding your marriage. This is an issue that most couples don’t have to worry about, but high-net-worth couples often have lots of income streams that must also be handled appropriately during divorce.

Exploring the Division of Assets

West Virginia, like most other states, follows the legal principle of equitable distribution. This means that assets must be divided in a way that is fair and just, not necessarily in a way that is equal. This allows the court to take a number of factors into account when deciding how assets should be handled, including each party’s earnings, each party’s earning potential, custody decisions, health concerns on either side, and each party’s contributions to the marriage.

This is often the most time-consuming part of a high-asset divorce. The more assets you have, the longer it takes to negotiate what happens to them. It’s important to have a game plan before you start negotiations, which means knowing what your priorities are and where you have some wiggle room.

The Role of Alimony

It’s also important to think about the role of spousal support or alimony in your high-asset divorce. Spousal support isn’t assumed in West Virginia, but it plays a role in a lot of high-asset divorces. If one party stayed at home as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent during the marriage, there’s a good chance the other party will need to provide them with spousal support. 

The amount and duration of spousal support are determined by numerous factors, including the length of the marriage, the financial assets of each partner, how the assets are divided, what each party contributed to the marriage, and whether or not the lower-earning spouse is likely to become self-sustaining at any point in the future.

The Emotional Issues of a High-Asset Divorce

The emotional challenges you may face during a high-asset divorce may take much longer to grapple with than the financial side of your split. It’s likely that you and your spouse built your empire together, and divorce means the end of everything you’ve worked so hard on. Seeing the assets, businesses, and income streams you’ve created together picked apart piece by piece can be extremely painful, and trying to figure out how to navigate family life as a single parent only adds to the burden.

It is crucial that you protect your mental health during this time and get the support you need to navigate your emotional needs. Many people find it helpful to work with a licensed therapist or counselor. You may also seek solace in a local divorce support group, where you can talk to others going through the same difficulties as you.

Explore Your Legal Options with Pence Law Firm

The team at Pence Law Firm is here to help you work through your high-asset divorce and fight for what you need in your post-divorce life. Let’s sit down and discuss your needs—call us at 304-345-7250 or send us a message online to get started.