Pennsylvania Divorces Involving Significant Financial Assets, Properties, Pensions and other assets – Mistakes to Avoid

Many Pennsylvania divorces are complicated.  This is especially true for divorces involving significant assets, properties, etc.  To protect your interests in a Pennsylvania high-end divorce, there are some mistakes parties need to avoid.  In this three part article, our Bucks County, PA divorce lawyers discuss common mistakes clients make in high-end or also known as high-net worth divorces. 

Not Telling Your Divorce Lawyer Everything 

One of the mistakes individuals with high-net worth or income make when going through a divorce is not disclosing their divorce attorney all information regarding their situation.  Some individuals may feel ashamed or embarrassed or unsure about giving certain information to their Pennsylvania divorce attorneys, but it is important that they know everything about your circumstances.  The attorneys can help to minimize the embarrassing or damaging information and help clients present that information in court in the best light possible. 

It is also important for clients to tell their lawyers the truth.  For instance, in high-end divorces, equitable distribution of marital property and assets is almost always an issue the parties have to deal with.  It is crucial to tell your divorce lawyer about all of your assets and properties. 

Sometimes individuals may hide assets because they do not want their soon to be ex-spouse to get their fair share.  This may happen in situations where a couple is getting a divorce because of infidelity.  For example, in the case where wife had an affair during marriage, husband becomes angry and bitter and decides that his wife should not get her share of all assets.  The husband is a successful businessman and entrepreneur and has several businesses.  He takes care of the finances in the household.  In addition, he has some businesses his wife does not know about.  The husband makes arrangements with his business partner and transfers a few businesses to him prior to filing for divorce.   While it may be tempting to hide assets to avoid their division in equitable distribution, hiding assets is dishonest and fraudulent action.  If the court discovers that a party is hiding assets, that party will lose credibility with the court going forward and will be a subject to sanctions, criminal liability, and the other party being awarded a higher percentage of marital assets through an adverse inference. 

It is very important to give all of the information to your divorce attorney.  The best advice you can receive is based on the information you provide.  In the absence of accurate, complete and verifiable information from you, your lawyer can be blindsided in court ultimately with the outcome of the divorce action being affected.  If you provide you attorney with full disclosure of your assets, then he can be prepared for any pitfalls and mitigate risk by presenting information in the most favorable light possible. 

Stay tuned for part 2 of this article series which discusses other mistakes parties may make in Pennsylvania high-end divorces.