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Protecting finances in high asset divorce settlements

Our Minnesota readers may be interested to learn that statistics reveal one out of 10 marriages ends up in divorce before a couple's fifth anniversary, and one out of four marriages does not last until the 10th anniversary. In addition to the emotional suffering that one faces in the divorce process, financial insecurity often accompanies the situation and may be just as complicated to deal with.

High net worth divorce can be very complex and often the parties end up in a long drawn out struggle to protect their rights and assets.

Experts advise women to plan their financial futures in advance, keeping in mind the chance of divorce. It is more sensible to enter into an agreement early on that defines the rights and obligations of the parties and how to split up their assets. That way, in the event of divorce, none of the parties are susceptible.

Further consideration should be given when dividing complex assets like a mortgaged house because the mortgage may drain each party financially. When dividing pensions and retirement accounts, it may be advisable to find an alternative to withdrawing large portions of the fund in cash which can have major tax consequences. Finally, while resolving asset division, the value of the assets and the tax assessment of each asset should be determined beforehand.

When it comes to high asset divorce, simple property settlement is not enough and the long-term interests of the parties must be kept in mind. The divorcing parties should take into account the law of the state as well as the availability of professional help while planning for a divorce settlement.

Source: MPR News, "Ruth Hayden on money and divorce," Emily Kaiser, Oct. 12, 2012

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