1. If you are thinking about divorcing and your marital property includes owning a business, you’ll definitely need a business valuation expert.
Be sure your lawyer has a good relationship with that expert so that your case will get high priority treatment.
2. If you are a senior executive, you have benefit packages that must be disclosed.
You’ll also have stock options or awards that have to be considered in your divorce – and there should always be a determination early in the process as to whether the stock is a separate or community asset.
3. You have a demanding lifestyle.
When you gather your legal team, you’ll want a law firm that understands what it took to attain your position, and a clear understanding that you must continue to be available to handle the demands of your career even though you are going through a divorce.
4. You need a team that supports focus.
Your legal team needs to understand the importance of you maintaining focus. The stress of a divorce should not be confounded by having a legal team that does not understand the burden of a career with heavy responsibilities. Evening and weekend availability of a legal team is a must for business owners and high level executives going through a divorce.
5. Your lawyer should be experienced in high asset cases and have the relationships that prove it.
She should have solid access to business lawyers who have significant expertise in drafting the legal agreements you will need to split businesses or to go forward in your own business as a non-married owner. Buy-out provisions in high assets business cases typically require business lawyers with specific expertise in this area.
6. Your forensic accounting team should work hard for you.
They will analyze and present your financial data and help determine the tax consequences of various settlement possibilities. You’ll need a future earning stream analysis to demonstrate how the lower wage earning spouse can take care of him or herself into the future.
7. Your divorce attorney should have a vocational expert available.
You and your attorney will need to determine the best way to get the lower wage earning spouse back into the job market if that seems to be a reasonable possibility. These analyses are very helpful to the judge should your case end up in trial and you want to make an argument about future employment of the opposing party, or even yourself, if you are the lower wage earner.
The bottom line is that high asset cases not only require a family law attorney who is experienced with these cases, but an entire team of experts who should be readily available to answer your questions and work with your lawyer to provide creative and workable solutions to your unique situation. Be sure you hire a lawyer who has been practicing in this area for several years, They are likely to have longstanding relationships with good lawyers and forensic experts who know how to provide top notch service.