When you decide to file for divorce, you have to address a broad range of issues. Certain issues are more or less universal, while others vary depending on the nature of the relationship. Couples who have children, for example, have to think about custody and support issues, while couples who are close to retirement age may have to negotiate how to divide a pension.
For families who have acquired significant assets during their marriage, there are also special considerations. Understanding the unique hurdles that high asset couples face in a divorce can help you protect yourself and your financial future as you take steps to end your marriage.
For asset division to be fair, you need to know what your possessions are worth
When your family has enough income to invest, you may acquire unique or unusual assets whose valuation may prove difficult to determine. Fine art, valuable collectibles and real estate are all examples of valuable non-monetary investments that may not have a fixed price.
When the Kentucky courts divide your assets, they have to know what they are worth to do so fairly. Kentucky uses an equitable division standard, which means that most assets you acquire during your marriage will wind up divided by the courts. They will use a list of assets and debts that you provide to decide how to split everything up.
The amount that you originally paid for certain assets may not reflect what they are currently worth in the modern economy. That means that you may have to partner with a professional to accurately price the various unique assets acquired during your marriage.
More income means more risk of hidden accounts or assets
For families struggling to make ends meet, $100 disappearing from the budget every few weeks will be absolutely noticeable. If your family is living comfortably, it may be possible for one spouse to siphon thousands of dollars from the household accounts without anyone realizing it.
If your household has a relatively high overall income and you haven't felt compelled to monitor how the income gets spent, you may want to carefully review financial documents including tax paperwork for warning signs of hidden assets or accounts. It is possible for one spouse to hide assets when they know they will file for divorce. Some people hoard money throughout their marriage, resulting in a massive nest egg their spouse doesn't know about.
In fact, it may benefit you to hire a forensic accountant to review income and financial documentation from your household to see if there are large amounts unaccounted for over the course of your marriage. If you don't locate and place a value on hidden accounts or assets, you won't be able to claim your fair share of them in the asset division process.