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Property division options for a high-asset divorce

High-asset couples in Virginia often face certain unique challenges when they divorce. If the spouses are unable to come to their own agreements, state laws govern how they will proceed with their settlement negotiations. While this is also true for lower-income partners, wealthier spouses might have more complicated assets.

In 10 states, couples will have to contend with 'community property" legislation. This is when assets acquired during marriage must be split 50-50 in a divorce. In other states, including Virginia, the division of assets falls under 'equitable distribution." This is when marital assets are divided based on several factors, including how each person was involved in building the marital fortune. In these states, the breakdown of marital assets could be 50-50, 75-25 or 60-40. Depending on the state, a prenup or postnup would take precedence over state legislation.

No matter the distribution method, experts believe that the very wealthy usually end up alright even after the marital assets are divided. Of course, there are exceptions. One is when the couple's wealth came from the trust-fund of one of the spouses. While both spouses might have used the money during the marriage, the spouse with the trust fund might cut off their partner after the split. This could result in that person's diminished lifestyle.

The negotiation process for assets can be delicate and lead to long-term consequences. That's why Virginia residents who are considering divorce might contact a family law lawyer to guide them through this process and help them prepare for post-divorce life.

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