High asset divorce cases often have a dynamic that is usually not present in other marital dissolution cases. When a California couple with substantial financial holdings divorces, locating and understanding family finances is critical when a fair distribution of assets is the goal. If one spouse is responsible for keeping financial affairs in order, the other should get up to speed before filing for divorce.

Removing the imbalance regarding financial matters can be a simple as asking a few questions or looking at account statements. Getting a copy of credit reports for both spouses can paint the picture for family debt and in many cases reveal unknown charge accounts and hidden spending habits. All real and valuable personal property should be documented with approximate values. Photographs of marital property should be taken and preserved. If a spouse does not have an individual bank account, one should be established before filing for divorce. Having money for three months living and legal expenses on hand is a rule of thumb. A secure mailing address, such as a post office box, should be established before filing and all banking and legal correspondence directed to that address.

In potentially abusive relationships, protecting personal property may be an issue. Removing items of sentimental or monetary value to a secure location may be necessary, but selling items without permission of the court is forbidden. An accounting of all marital property removed from the home will be required, so documentation is key. Some spouses may need job training in order to plan for post-divorce life. Getting training prior to divorce is recommended as alimony laws are changing and spousal support may be limited in many jurisdictions.

The decision to file for divorce is rarely easy or pleasant. High asset divorces are often more complicated than those involving fewer financial components. Consulting a qualified family law attorney may help anyone considering divorce put an exit strategy in place.