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Overland Park Family Law Blog

High asset divorce: Is there way to alleviate stress?

When you and your spouse decided you no longer wanted to stay married, you no doubt understood that you would have to resolve numerous issues in order to achieve a fair settlement. In a high asset divorce, things can get messy, especially if one spouse refuses to play by the rules. Hiding assets is a common problem many people in Kansas and elsewhere encounter when the net worth of the marital property in question is high.

It is illegal to hide assets, so if you suspect this problem in your divorce, you can take immediate action to further investigate the matter. Any number of other issues can also cause delays in proceedings, such as if you and your spouse disagree about financial issues concerning your children. Regarding all property and finance issues, you and your spouse are both legally obligated to fully disclose all assets and liabilities.

High asset divorce: These celebrities have regrets

When celebrities end their marriages, it often makes front page news. Kansas readers who are contemplating divorce may wonder what they can learn from these news stories about the private lives of famous people. Many celebrities who have been involved in high asset divorce say one of their biggest regrets is that they did not sign prenuptial agreements before they wed.

Former celebrity wrestler Hulk Hogan not only earned a fortune in the ring but also built a successful business empire. He and his former wife divorced in 2009 and did not have a prenup in place. As part of their settlement, Hogan's ex walked away with a 40% stake in his companies, numerous vehicles and 70% of their liquid assets.

Child custody case in another state involves Kansas man

Many Kansas readers may be surprised to learn that the act of dueling as a means to resolve a legal dispute has never been abolished in the United States. While the most recent use of sword fighting to the death to resolve a legal battle occurred abroad in the 1800s, a man from this state who is navigating child custody proceedings in another state has filed a petition in court to request that the judge order trial by combat with his former wife. The man's petition also states that the woman's attorney may act as a champion or stand-in for his ex.

While the idea of sword battle may seem outrageous to most parents, the father in this case says he is at his wits end because his ex has destroyed him through litigation. He has told the judge that he plans to request trial by combat in every instance from now on when and if his ex drags him into court. The woman's attorney has filed a countermotion, requesting that the court not order him or his client to take part in mortal combat.

De Niro cites prenup in high asset divorce

As many Kansas couples know, it can take months, even years, to resolve divorce issues when spouses disagree, especially when such issue pertain to money. Superstar actor Robert De Niro is currently entangled in a contentious high asset divorce with his former wife, Grace Hightower. The judge overseeing their case recently scheduled the next proceeding for Valentine's Day.

De Niro says Hightower signed a prenuptial agreement before they were married. She reportedly agreed that, if they should ever divorce, she would receive no more than $500,000 cash, an apartment worth $6 million and annual alimony payments of $1 million each. Hightower, however, has requested that the court grant her $250 million, which is half of De Niro's networth.

Postnuptial agreement offers protection in a high asset divorce

Most people who get married believe that they'll stay that way, but sadly, that isn't always true. For wealthier couples here in Kansas, it can be difficult to determine how to handle a divorce settlement, especially at a time when emotions may be running high. Some people realize too late that they should have gotten a prenuptial agreement. However, there is another option for those who may be concerned about the possibility of a high asset divorce. A postnuptial agreement serves many of the same purposes as a prenup and there are several scenarios where a couple may decide it's the right choice for them.

One reason for a postnuptial agreement is when something happens after the wedding that changes the couple's financial circumstances. If a couple has a sudden increase to their finances, especially if that change is due primarily to the efforts of one spouse,  they may want to legally determine how to split the assets should a divorce occur later. Also, for couples who want to separate, but don't want to fully divorce, a postnuptial agreement can be a way to determine in advance what each party will receive in a divorce settlement.

Show up well-prepared for a high asset divorce in Kansas

A new year is just around the corner. Many people are busy writing lists and setting goals that they hope to achieve before 2020 will come to an end. Some married couples in Kansas have decided to go their separate ways after the start of the new year. Navigating a high asset divorce can be stressful and challenging, which is why it pays to be as prepared as possible when heading to court.

It is critical that a spouse knows exactly what his or her assets and liabilities are. Making a list of one's debts, as well as business interests, collected valuables such as jewelry or art, and real estate, life insurance policies, etc., is a good place to start to prepare for full disclosure. It is also a good idea to gather any documents that may be pertinent to proceedings, such as tax information, bank statements or mortgage and equity loan paperwork.

For better property division, get to know your finances

Divorce is often talked about as if there is only one path from start to finish. However, couples in Kansas will have to navigate many different issues before finalizing everything and moving forward with their new lives. This means that securing the most agreeable divorce settlement relies on making the best possible decisions during things like property division.

Married couples tend to amass a pretty significant amount of marital property over time. For example, joint bank accounts for checking and savings are usually marital property. Retirement savings might even be considered jointly owned and therefore up for division. Assets are also more than just money or owned property, and couples frequently have jointly owed debt.

A mother believes child's father disobeyed child custody order

A woman in another state has notified police that she believes her child's father has abducted their child. She and her mother have also told law enforcement officers that they believe the child's father was angry about a recent child custody ruling, and has taken the child as an act of revenge. Any Kansas parent concerned about custody issues should have a support network in place to access help at a moment's notice, if needed.

In this case, the 5-year-old girl in question was at school when someone (believed by her mother and grandmother to be her father) came to pick her up. It is often possible for a Kansas custodial parent to avoid such mix-ups by immediately informing a child's teachers and other school officials if a co-parent's custody rights have been removed. The father in this case was reportedly ordered by the court to take a drug test, and failed.

How to avoid child custody disputes during the holidays

Adapting to a new lifestyle after divorce is a challenge many Kansas parents will face before the end of the year. In fact, with Thanksgiving and numerous holidays right around the corner, it is likely that some parents will have their work cut out to resolve child custody issues that arise. Parents who wish to keep things as peaceful as possible during the holidays can put several plans into action to help them avoid problems.

First, it is a good a idea to keep children's best interests in mind, remembering that their needs are the highest priority, especially during the holidays. Kids are typically resilient and adaptable but coping with divorce can put a damper on their holiday fun. If children know their parents are willing to work together to help them adjust to new lifestyles, they may worry a bit less custody-related issues.

Can you finalize a high asset divorce without going to court?

Many Kansas spouses decide to end their marriage but want to avoid getting tangled in a contentious, lengthy court battle. In a high asset divorce, there are often complex financial issues to discuss and resolve. However, it may still be possible to do so without requiring litigation.

Collaborative law and divorce mediation are litigation alternatives that spouses are free to use to settle the terms of their divorce proceedings. State laws apply, and after signing an agreement, spouses submit their settlement contract to the court for approval. Such alternatives are often less expensive and time-consuming than litigation.

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