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Divorce is often a stressful time for a couple as both sides determine how to divide assets and debt. When a couple is dealing with dividing high-value assets, the concerns about getting what they deserve may drastically increase.

Divorce cases with high net worth have the potential to be painful processes with much contention. However, knowing how to make this process smoother may be useful and increase the chances of an amicable divorce.

Knowing the law

New York State is an equitable distribution state, which means that each spouses’ earnings during the marriage become his or her sole property. The court does not require that the couple divide all assets evenly.

However, the judge reviews each case and determines fair distribution. Factors considered include each spouses’ income and health and alimony rulings.

Making the decision

People have the option of working on the division of assets and debt themselves before letting a judge decide. If the couple agrees on the property division, the judge is likely to accept the couple’s wishes.

Assessing asset worth

It is crucial to assess the worth of assets. In high-value asset divorces, there may be inheritances, family heirlooms, vacation homes, businesses and investments to consider during a divorce.

It may be useful for the couple to make a list of all assets. Creating a list that includes the values of items makes it easier to determine a fair split between the spouses. The couple may then sit down together to discuss what they believe a fair division may look like.

Making an agreement

Writing a separation agreement may be especially beneficial for these divorces, as there is a high proportion of valuable assets to divide. In addition to the division of high-value assets, this agreement may detail the division of alimony, child support or visitation rights, to name a few critical discussions. It is important to have a plan in place for all factors when drafting an agreement.