Divorce is difficult. It is also stressful, complicated, tedious, anxiety-producing and very easy to get wrong. Without careful thought and consideration into every step of the process, you risk jeopardizing valuable property rights or even precious time spent with your children. The risks associated with divorce are magnified as the amount of assets increases, and the benefits of having a skilled lawyer at your side increase correspondingly.
Anyone going through a divorce needs the experience and counsel of an experienced divorce attorney, but for someone involved in a high-asset or “high-value” dissolution, you not only need a good lawyer, you need the right one.
Why have an attorney?
To paraphrase the great Abraham Lincoln, anyone who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. This is absolutely true in the divorce context. As much as you may think it possible for you to compartmentalize your emotions and your practicality during a split, the stress, anger, fear and stubbornness that a divorce can evoke will likely cause you to make mistakes that your lawyer will keep in check.
Without a lawyer’s guidance, you could, for example, inadvertently accept a divorce property settlement of substantially less value than the one to which you are legally entitled. On the flip side, if you were the “breadwinner” in the marriage, you may agree to pay alimony to a spouse who may not actually be deserving, in spite of a prenuptial agreement where said spouse waived the right to spousal maintenance.
An attorney’s guidance is invaluable in many contexts, and that is perhaps never more evident than in a high-asset divorce. You may think that going through the process out of court or without an attorney will keep things more private, or will allow you to wrap things up quicker, but the opposite is usually true. Before you file – or if you have been served with papers by your spouse – call an experienced local divorce lawyer prior to taking any action.