Every divorce has the potential to be complicated. However, if you and your soon-to-be ex are affluent and will have substantial assets to divide, the process can be even more difficult because the financial stakes can be exceptionally high.
There can also be added complexity to the process because of the types of assets involved. In high-asset divorces, it is not unusual to have rare or exclusive property that can be very difficult to value, let alone divide. For instance, the following items could present some very real complications in these types of divorces.
- Elite memberships (including social, golf and country clubs)
- Business investments
- Art collections and rare collectibles
- Stock options
- Intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights)
- Animals (domestic pets, horses, exotic animals)
- Cryptocurrency, including Bitcoin
- Real estate properties (vacation homes, rentals, timeshares)
Part of the reason why these and similar assets can be so difficult to value is that there can be varying opinions on how much they are worth. For instance, an art collection in one divorce was valued very differently by the divorcing parties; they were reportedly hundreds of millions of dollars apart in their estimates.
There can also be social status and exclusivity on the line with these assets, creating an added element of desirability and potentially inflating the perceived value.
In these situations, it is crucial to work with professionals and experts who can appraise specific items. You do not need to rely on what your ex says, either. You can work with your own team to investigate and value your assets.
While property valuation may only be one part of the divorce process, it is a critical one that can affect each person's financial, social and professional status after the divorce. As such, divorcing spouses should utilize all the resources available to pursue a fair settlement.