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Navigating a high-asset divorce

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Family Law

When facing divorce as a high-net-worth individual in Arizona, you have much at stake. You’ve likely spent your entire life building your wealth, so it may seem unfair to have an unreasonable amount of that wealth given to your ex in your divorce decree. By arming yourself with some knowledge on how asset division works, and understanding more about divorce laws in Arizona, you can prepare yourself for the difficult process of divorce.

Dividing assets

High-net-worth individuals often have many tangible and intangible assets. The court must divide these assets based on Arizona’s property division laws. Unlike most other states, Arizona is a community property state. This means that the court will divide nearly all property acquired during the marriage equally between both parties. This excludes assets considered gifts or inheritances.

Property acquired by one party before the marriage will generally still belong to that person. If you have a valid prenuptial agreement, the terms of the agreement will determine how the court divides your assets. Without an agreement, the court will consider all your marital assets and divide them appropriately based on the law. Be prepared to have certain assets appraised so you’re aware of their value at the time of your divorce.

Value all assets

Your assets may include intangible assets like investments, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds and cryptocurrency. The court must also consider tangible assets like real estate, collectibles, art, jewelry and vehicles during your divorce. You and your soon-to-be ex may wish to negotiate who gets certain assets, but it’s important to put those terms into writing and include them in your official divorce documentation.

If you have minor children, the court may require you to pay child support, depending on the child custody order. The court may also order you to pay spousal support for a certain number of years if the judge determines it’s appropriate. This is usually based on the earning potential your ex has, along with their estimated expenses once the court divides your assets.

Seek legal help promptly

Divorce often leads to high emotions on both sides, even when the split is amicable. It’s essential that you have someone on your side to help you make the right decisions to protect yourself in a divorce. Money can bring out the worst in people, especially during divorce, so you’ll likely find that having an advocate who is familiar with Arizona’s divorce laws can help you negotiate the asset division process as painlessly as possible.