High-asset divorces: Negotiate out of court

It's hard to divorce no matter what your position, but it's particularly difficult when you have a lot to lose. When you're in a high-asset marriage, that makes for a high-asset divorce. It's possible that you could lose much of what you've built up during your marriage, but there are ways to protect yourself.

If you didn't have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, negotiating is going to be one of the best ways to protect your assets. There are several ways to divide assets through negotiations between your attorneys, through mediation or by going to arbitration sessions. If you do not come up with a solution among yourselves, then the court will make a decision for you.

Why does mediation work?

Mediation has many benefits, but it works because it allows you and your spouse to come up with a solution in a non-aggressive environment. A third-party mediator is there to give you information on the law and some options on what you can choose to do, but he or she won't make a decision for you. At the end, you and your spouse come up with the solution to your property division issues, making it less likely that you'll run into property division issues in the future. Mediation is not usually legally binding.

When should you consider arbitration?

Arbitration is a good idea when you and your spouse can't get along enough to come to an agreement or if you have only one or two things that you can't agree on. The arbitrator makes a final decision on your behalf after hearing both sides of the argument. This is usually legally binding, which prevents further legal issues with your property division matters.

It's also possible to work with your attorney to resolve property division disputes. Some attorneys offer mediation or can help you set up arbitration if that's the path you want to take.

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