Money is a major factor in many divorces – although not all, as some couples separate with sufficient individual incomes to sustain their existing lifestyle, while for others there may be more pressing matters like custody to decide.
Yet while you might imagine money is less of a worry for high net worth individuals, if anything it should be more of a priority to engage the services of a mediator and help get your finances agreed as quickly and amicably as possible.
The law gives relatively few protections to the partner with the higher income – even prenuptial agreements can be overturned by a judge if the divorce case goes to court – but there is protection given to the spouse and any dependants.
As such, you will usually be unable to enter into an agreement on your finances or assets if it would mean a significant loss of lifestyle for your former spouse and any children you have together.
On top of this, there is the risk of a dispute arising over ownership of any assets, and the division of the family finances, and this can lead to divorce proceedings that drag on and on, causing much more heartache and costing much more in legal fees.
Again, if your case goes to court, you risk losing the right to agree on the division of assets between yourselves, as the judge may enforce a legally binding decision of their own.
In the worst case scenario, the legal costs of a protracted and vicious divorce case can consume the family finances completely, leaving you with little to none of your previously high net worth to divide between you.
Clearly there are no winners in such acrimonious cases, but with the help of a mediator you can make sure that proceedings are completed faster, without incurring huge court costs, and that the outcome is a fair representation of the views of both parties.
Engaging a mediator does not mean losing control of your divorce negotiations – quite the opposite in fact – as the mediator will act independently, but in the best interests of both parties and any dependants too.
Instead it’s a way to create a middle ground, an experienced professional with the necessary legal knowledge to advise both separating partners on what is a reasonable expected outcome, and to draw up the framework to cement that agreement in law.
By doing this you are much more likely to reach a mutually acceptable outcome, with any dependants catered for as well, and the highest percentage of your net worth retained in the process.