Deciding to bring an end to a marriage can create a certain amount of stress and challenges for most Virginia spouses. One area of a divorce proceeding where this especially holds true is the division of marital property. In high-asset divorce cases — where the total amount of marital assets eligible for division is greater than $1 million — there can be a multitude of potential matters that need to be proactively taken into consideration.
In Virginia and other equitable distribution states, a court has the authority to split the marital assets in what it considers a fair manner. Since fair doesn’t necessarily mean equal, it can prove critical to do all possible due diligence before the division of property takes place. This can reduce the chances of issues and disputes arising that could delay the divorce proceedings.
Specific steps to follow before the formal division of assets
An important first step for anyone going through a high-asset divorce is to identify all the assets owned by both parties. From there, a careful determination will need to be made as to what qualifies as separate property versus what qualifies as marital property. Another critical step is to carefully check for any hidden assets that are purposely being omitted from the proceedings. Last but not least, make sure and account for potential third-party claims by siblings, children or other beneficiaries to specific assets.
There are many other complex issues involved in a high-asset divorce that Virginia spouses should consider before the division of marital property. The total amount of marital debt along with potential tax ramifications can have a drastic impact on both short- and long-term financial plans. An experienced and savvy divorce attorney can thoroughly analyze all aspects involved in the division of property, increasing the odds of ultimately receiving the maximum amount of marital property to which one is entitled.