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High asset divorce is not always a simple division of property

It seems that the public cannot get enough of celebrity breakups. There is wide-spread speculation about who will get the children and how much money there is to be divided. If the couple had no prenuptial agreement, the divorce may garner even more publicity. However, most high asset divorce cases in Pennsylvania do not play out in the public eye, and they may require both partners to move forward carefully.

A couple who has a prenuptial agreement may be able to divorce with few complications. Some attorneys also consider divorces with no children involved to be a simple division of assets. Matters may get complicated when one spouse earns more than the other, when their assets are diverse and spread across state lines and when they have children. This kind of divorce often requires difficult negotiations, and the couple is advised to maintain their dignity and decide on their goals from the start.

Lifelong alimony is not usually granted in today's divorces. Instead, family courts in Pennsylvania and elsewhere typically follow a standard for determining how much and how long a spouse may receive support. The same is usually true for child support, although couples with money have the option of negotiating this privately.

Although it seems as though modern divorces are standardized and follow predetermined formulas, there remains a certain amount of strategy that participants in a high asset divorce may need to plan. Many considerations -- such as where to file and whether to seek a mediation, collaboration or litigation style divorce -- must be made before the legal process even begins. An experienced attorney will help a person decide the best options for his or her particular situation.

Source: The New York Times, "How Rich Couples Who Aren't Pitt and Jolie Manage Their Divorces", Paul Sullivan, Sept. 30, 2016

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