Divorce is a difficult time, regardless of the wealth of the couple divorcing. However, high asset divorces differ in a variety of ways. First, wealthy couples typically have complex and diverse financial holdings, making it difficult to take an accurate tally. On top of this, if one spouse is inclined to try and hide assets, he or she typically has the money and connections to do so.
In fact, the New York Times recently did an exposé of one wealthy couple's messy divorce. By most accounts, the husband was worth at least $300 million. However, when divorce papers were filed, almost all of their fortune had disappeared into thin air. The wife went on a crusade to uncover her soon-to-be-ex's attempts to hide their wealth in offshore accounts and various shady dealings.
It took nearly two years and a few smart attorneys to help the wife unravel the tangled web her husband had built to keep her from receiving her part of the millions they made as a couple. Nothing has been settled in the case yet, but the wife could stand to receive up to $200 million.
A case like this is a perfect example of the nebulous nature of high asset divorcee. That's why, when it comes to complex asset division, it's typically in the spouse's best interest to speak with an attorney well-versed in these matters. A lawyer can use specialists and forensic accountants to track down any hidden assets and ensure that your interests are represented in court.
Source: nytimes.com, "How to Hide $400 Million," Nicholas Confessore, November 30, 2016