When you’re headed to a Virginia court to finalize a settlement after determining that you want to move on in life without your spouse, you must be prepared to resolve property and debt issues. The court will equitably split any money, land or other assets you acquired during marriage between you and your spouse. In a high-net-worth divorce, things can get messy, especially concerning third-party and jurisdiction issues.
During your marriage, you and your spouse may have invested money overseas or purchased property in other states. You might own a business that is located outside Virginia. When you have assets in other countries or states, it adds complexity to a divorce because jurisdiction is relevant to property and debt division.
Divorce codes in states or countries outside Virginia may affect your settlement
Settling a divorce is a legal process that is highly jurisdictional. This means that codes and guidelines from other states or countries may be applicable to your divorce when you have assets in those locations. There are ways to avoid litigation in multiple states. It is advisable to seek guidance from someone who understands jurisdiction rules and can help determine which state has the overall jurisdiction for property issues in a specific divorce.
Third-party issues may be relevant in your divorce
In a high-asset divorce, additional issues may be relevant, such as those regarding retirement benefits, estate planning, business investments and more. In fact, third parties, such as children, grandchildren, siblings or other family members, may have a right to some of the family wealth that is pertinent in property division proceedings in your divorce.
As with jurisdictional issues, third-party issues can be complex and difficult to resolve. One or more people may have a direct financial stake in your divorce. Questions of ownership or disputes regarding specific assets, such as money, real estate, oil and mineral rights and more, can spark legal claims that you must resolve before you can settle your divorce.
Don’t forget about debt division in a high-asset settlement
It’s understandable that you’d want to ensure a fair settlement when it comes time to divide assets in a high-net-worth divorce. It is equally important, however, to make sure that your ex carries a fair portion of any marital debt that exists when you negotiate a settlement. Like assets, marital debt is comprised of any debt you or your spouse incurred during marriage, such as credit card debt, a mortgage loan or other liabilities.
Also, like assets, certain debts may be separately owed. For instance, if your spouse carried debt from college loans into your marriage, you are not responsible for those liabilities when you file for divorce in Virginia. Before signing an agreement, it is best to make sure you understand jurisdiction rules, as well as third-party guidelines and any other divorce laws that may affect your settlement.