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Divorcing executives face specific struggles

High-asset divorce offers many pitfalls that couples with simpler assets may never consider, and this goes doubly for divorces involving business executives. Depending on the nature of your relationship to your company, as well as any precautions you may have taken by creating a prenuptial agreement, there are a number of additional concerns that you must consider as a divorcing executive.

Whereas simpler divorces can be handled by a couple of attorneys and some long meetings between spouses, executive divorce often entails many other experts weighing in. This is usually because one spouse or the other contests the value of various complex assets, and it becomes necessary to enlist professional help to find these precise values.

You may need to involve forensic accountants to identify where all your related assets lie, and how much of each asset is up for grabs in a settlement. It is also possible that your spouse may claim that your compensation from the business was not up to industry standards and that you were attempting to keep money out of the home by taking less in pay. This may necessitate an expert in compensation to determine the validity of your income. Similarly, if the business is closely held, then your spouse may claim that they are entitled to a portion of its overall value, which may mean having the business professionally valued.

Clearly, it can be quite a mess to divorce when a business is involved. If you are an executive facing a divorce, you need legal guidance that understands the intricacies of high asset divorce and how to keep the settlement negotiation fair. Do not wait to reach out to an experienced attorney to ensure that your rights and future remain protected in this difficult season.

Source: Crain's Chicago Business, "Wealth Management: The Executive Divorce," Jason G. Adess, Meighan Harmon, April 16, 2017

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