Recently, Bill and Melinda Gates announced that they are divorcing. The Gates are high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). How does a high asset divorce facilitation differ for couples with more modest assets? Money has an emotional connection. Losing the sense of financial security can be worked through in a facilitated divorce.
In a high asset divorce, qualified lawyers on both sides and neutral certified mediator are needed, along with other professionals to aid in the process. Therapists can also be needed to help with emotional issues.
What is a High Asset Divorce?
A HNWI is defined as one having anywhere from $1 million to $15 million in assets. Money can mean a lot. Aside from millions in assets, differences in alimony, child custody, child support, are also factors in high asset divorces.
While both HNWI spouses want to divorce, facilitators face certain difficulties, such as the following:
- Dividing assets of the marriage, including inherited monies.
- Working with a pre-nuptial agreement that defines who brought what assets to the marriage.
- Multiple types of assets, some of which may have debt attached.
- Expensive personal property that is hard to divide.
- Bank accounts and assets in trust or in offshore accounts.
- Securities where premature liquidation may involve taxes to be paid.
- Professional partnerships and private businesses that can involve partnership and shareholder agreements dictating how those equity interests are sold.
- Non-disclosure agreements to preserve the couple’s privacy.
- New tax brackets and tax and estate planning.
A high asset divorce means more money to pay for lawyers, accountants, financial advisors, and other experts. More parties involved can also complicate matters.
How Does Facilitation Work?
Facilitation means a simpler process, without a court filing or undue publicity. Costs for modest asset couples are relatively inexpensive. Divorce facilitation depends on the abilities of the lawyers and the mediator, especially in a high asset situation. Any trial duel of the experts is contentious because each side tries to value assets in a way that is favorable to them. In facilitation, the goal is having a lower key process to achieve a fair and realistic result acceptable to the divorcing pair.
If there is emotional stress and trauma, the parties may also consult a trained therapist to help them through the emotional roller coaster. Although the high asset facilitation is simpler, mediation can be longer than a court case. However, in court, privacy can be a concern. In mediation, privacy can be preserved.
Couples in a high asset divorce facilitation can expect that the process will stay on track, and with the assistance of the professionals, the parties can achieve their goal of divorce.
What About Other Divorces?
Since a lawyer’s reputation can influence and manage the expectations of the other side, one should hire an experienced lawyer with an impeccable reputation. A spouse should maintain a level of trust with the soon-to-be ex-partner. New love interests must be kept out of the divorce process.
It is important to be as realistic as possible. Each lawyer is looking to find an acceptable resolution. One should consider creative settlement options that the lawyers propose to move the negotiations ahead.
Media Divorce Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Assist Clients in High Asset Divorces
High asset divorces can be difficult to navigate, but an experienced lawyer can help. The Media divorce lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. stake their reputations on their ability to provide professional assistance in divorce facilitation. Complete our online form or call us at 610-565-3701 for an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.