It may not be surprising for readers from Orange County, California, to assume that when high-net worth couples divorce, the litigation process can be complex. In divorce, parties need to settle the division of assets and marital properties obtained during marriage. During property division, assets like stocks, mutual funds, retirement accounts and even personal belongings acquired during the marriage can be subject to division. However, it may be true that each spouse has a different point of view in the property distribution, which is why prenuptial agreements can be useful.
The main purpose of prenuptial agreements is to protect assets, properties and the interests of a spouse regarding property division. Prenuptial agreements allow a spouse to secure the assets and properties that are usually subject to property division before entering the marriage. Spouses may especially want a prenuptial agreement if the state in which they live is a community property state like California, where a couple's property is divided equally.
On the other hand, spouses who decide to divorce may also consider a financial adviser. Accordingly, whenever property division concerns properties with enormous value and business assets, a financial adviser may benefit everyone involved. Financial advisers may help both spouses to reach an agreement on issues regarding stocks, bonds and other investments. The adviser may also inform spouses that liquidating tax-deferred accounts may enforce them to pay taxes. The adviser can inform spouses about which of their assets should be kept and which should be given away to the other spouse because every property has different valuation that may increase or decrease over time.
And of course, in addition to the assistance of a financial adviser, an experienced family law attorney can be critical for reaching the best possible outcome in a divorce. During the litigation process, each spouse may suffer confusion and anxiety about the dissolution. But a divorce lawyer can help soon-to-be ex-spouses look at the situation in a more positive way and set aside emotions. Doing this may organize the conflicts nicely so both parties can make rational decisions.
Source: Investors Business Daily, "Financial Advisers Help Split Assets During Divorce," Gary M. Stern, Jan. 25, 2013