Any Maryland divorce can be financially challenging and emotionally draining, but the process can be even more demanding for high net worth individuals who have substantial amounts to gain or lose. The typical disputes over defining marital assets, property division, and alimony are intensified when the financial stakes are high. Plus, aside from the value, the types of property in a high asset divorce can be complicated. Vast real estate holdings, trusts, business interests, and investments can make for a difficult separation.
The best strategy for dealing with the financial and emotional challenges in a high net worth divorce is retaining a Maryland high asset divorce lawyer. Of course, it is also important to be well-informed about the process and legal issues. Because misinformation can be harmful to your interests, you should read up to debunk some of the myths about high asset divorce.
Myth #1: Marital property must be split 50-50 between the parties. It is true that assets acquired during the marriage will be divided between the parties, and each will be allowed to keep their own separate property. However, Maryland’s property division statute requires an “equitable” distribution of marital assets, which may not be a perfectly equal split. The judge will aim to achieve fairness in dividing property. Plus, keep in mind that debts are not subject to equitable distribution in the same way that assets are.
Myth #2: If your spouse does not know about assets, he or she cannot claim them. The statute on property division applies to ALL property, regardless of whether your spouse is aware an asset exists. In fact, you can run into serious trouble if you attempt to hide your ownership interest property. As part of the divorce process, among other disclosures, you must submit a signed affidavit Financial Statement regarding the value and nature of assets. Dishonesty could lead to allegations of perjury because your statements are given under oath.
Myth #3: Women will never pay alimony to their husband in high asset divorce. This myth dates back to a time when it was more common for men to pay spousal support to their ex-spouse after divorce. The laws do not treat parties differently on account of gender. Instead, there are statutory factors regarding alimony that a judge will use in making a determination regarding the terms of spousal support, including the amount, type, and duration.
Myth #4: It is best to take a win-lose approach to high asset divorce. This misconception is one that can be detrimental to your interests, and it could be a costly mistake. Rather than a “winner take all” approach, it is wise to consider areas where you and your spouse can agree or compromise. With help from your respective attorneys, you may be able to work out a compromise regarding asset division and alimony. This may result in less time you have to spend in court and may also reduce your legal fees.
Be aware of an associated myth on this topic, which is that you should always work out an agreement on divorce-related issues. There may be some areas where you can compromise, but you should trust your lawyer to advise you on whether it makes sense to fight.
Our Maryland High Asset Divorce Attorneys Will Protect Your Personal and Financial Interests
This information should clear up some of the myths about high net worth divorce, but it is still crucial to rely on an experienced lawyer for assistance. To learn more about how we can help, please contact The McKeon Law Firm at 301-417-9222 or 202-742-1800. We can set up a consultation to discuss your situation at our offices in Gaithersburg or Bethesda, MD.