Some couples in Richmond who have significant wealth going into a marriage will execute a prenuptial agreement to protect their separate financial interests in the event of a divorce. However, some high-asset couples may have thought a prenup was unromantic or unnecessary, and did not execute one before walking down the aisle. While everyone thinks their marriage will last "until death do us part," the fact of the matter is that many marriages will end well before that. Even in the absence of a prenup, there are steps couples can take to protect their financial interests should they divorce.
A marriage can last a long time, but even couples in Virginia who have been married for decades can one day decide to divorce. But, older couples will have to keep retirement in mind when it comes to property division. This is especially true in a high asset divorce.
Sometimes, a married couple decides that one spouse will stay at home to care for the family, while the other spouse pursues a career. The working spouse is able to "climb the corporate ladder" and ultimately sees career success that leaves the couple well off financially.
In Virginia and in most other states in the nation, when a couple is seeking a divorce their property will be divided per equitable distribution. When property is divided in this manner, a judge will decide what would be fair to both parties, meaning that it may not be an exact 50/50 split. In addition, only marital property will be subject to property division; separate property may be kept by the party that owns it. Therefore, it pays to have an understanding of what constitutes marital property and what constitutes separate property. In Virginia, the burden of proving property is separate is on the party claiming that it is separate - It is presumed that all property acquired during the marriage is marital.
When a couple in Virginia divorces, does their property simply get split 50/50? Not necessarily. In Virginia, property division will be done through equitable distribution. A judge will determine what is fair in each couple's situation, and this may not always mean each party walks away from the marriage with exactly half of the marital assets.
No matter how amicably a divorcing couple in Richmond wishes to split, heightened emotions can cloud one's judgment, and lead a person to make less-than-rational decisions. This may be especially true in a high-asset divorce, since the stakes are so high. Therefore, it can help to seek the assistance of neutral financial experts when it comes to negotiating a settlement in a high-asset divorce, so that a fair result can be reached.
For those of you who have concerns over social stigma, you may be interested in a recent analysis by the Gallup organization. According to its latest Values and Beliefs poll, divorce has become far less controversial than it was in the middle of the last century -- and that trend is increasing among all the demographic groups it measured.
While there are many different elements to consider during a divorce - especially when your estate is made up of complex accounts and holdings - your children are clearly in a realm all their own. Trying to do the best for your children while juggling every other aspect of the divorce can be an extremely difficult tightrope to walk, and that's why having experienced representation is crucial.