Pennsylvania High-End Divorces – Mistakes to Avoid (Part 3)

Parties involved in Pennsylvania high-end or high-income divorces may make mistakes during the divorce process which will have a serious, oftentimes lasting impact on their best interests.  In part 1 and 2 of this article series, we discussed the negative impact emotional decisions can have on a party’s financial interests.  In addition, not sharing with your divorce lawyer information regarding divorce related issues can result in a very negative outcome.  If the client does not disclose all information known and available, the lawyer may be blindsided in court, and the client may lose credibility with the Family Court judge which would taint the rest of their testimony and affect the ruling of the Court. This would certainly affect the outcome of the divorce, including such critical issues as alimony, equitable distribution of assets and/or child custody.

In this last part of the article series, our Bucks County, PA divorce lawyers are going to discuss another common mistake parties make in high-asset or high-net worth divorce cases in Pennsylvania.

Wanting to Get Revenge on Your Soon to Be Ex-Spouse

In some divorce cases, a party may feel completely betrayed by the spouse and blindsided by the commencement of divorce.  As a result, the only thing the aggrieved party wants is to get revenge on the spouse.

Consider the following example. A husband has an affair and decides that he wants to be with the other woman.  The husband files for divorce from his wife, and the wife had no idea any of this was coming.  She knew that their marriage was not perfect, but she did not think her husband would cheat on her and want to leave her.  They first met in college, and they both were going to go to medical school.  They fell in love and got married.  Due to their financial situation at the time, they both could not go to medical school.  Therefore, they decided the wife would work to put the husband through medical school.  They agreed that the wife would pursue her medical career later.  Then, they had kids, and their plans changed again.  They decided that the wife would be a stay at home mom and care for the family.

After her husband tells her that he is going to leave her for another woman, the wife becomes enraged.  She did not go to medical school so her husband could.  She basically sacrificed her career for her husband.  What is she going to do after they get a divorce?  She has not worked for many years and she does not even know what she can do.  The wife decides to get revenge on the husband and vows to get everything that she can. She is so angry that she tries to sabotage husband’s career and employment by making allegations of abuse jeopardizing his license to practice medicine. 

If she were successful, she would only be hurting herself and the children.  Any income husband earns would be subject to both child support and alimony.  Without that income, and without her ability to earn the same, she is putting everyone in a losing situation, not just her husband.  Further, the Court typically divides marital estates according to a percentage split predominantly dependent upon the parties’ respective ability to earn income.  The Court reasons that the income inferior spouse should be awarded a greater share of the marital estate due to the income superior spouse being able to build back their separate estate at a much faster rate.  If the wife succeeds in ruining the husband’s career, she could put both of them on equal footing and wind up with at 50/50 percentage split where she otherwise could have received over 60% of the marital estate. 

This example shows how acrimonious a divorce can be.  Because the wife is set on revenge, the divorce will likely be very hostile and drawn out.  In addition, their children are going to suffer and be put through a contentious divorce and custody dispute for no reason other than revenge.  That would not be in the best interests of the children.

Talking to a Pennsylvania High-End Divorce Lawyer

If you are facing divorce, talk to an experienced PA divorce lawyer.  High-end divorces are complicated, and it is best to talk to someone who has handled numerous high-end divorces.