Nobody likes to talk about it, but divorces are often about money. This is especially true when the marriage of a highly successful man has come to an end. A husband who has done well financially in his life may suddenly find himself having to defend every dollar he now has and every dollar he will make in the future from his wife and her lawyers.
When Success becomes a Curse
In every divorce there are marital assets and community property that must be equitably divided. When a man owns his own business or is highly successful in his chosen profession, his soon to be ex-spouse may feel the need to ask for seconds, thirds, and even fourths from the asset dinner table.
Financial success may seem like a curse under such circumstances. Instead of benefiting from years of hard work, successful men face the prospect of supporting their ex-wives for years to come. The more you worked to succeed in life, the harder you will have to fight to protect it in divorce.
The high profile divorces of Rupert Murdoch show just how much can be lost in a divorce.
A Billion Dollar Divorce
News outlets all over the planet have reported on the divorce of Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng after 14 years of marriage. An ironic twist considering Mr. Murdoch owns one of the largest news and media companies on Earth.
For the 82 year old Murdoch, this will be his third divorce. His parting from his second wife in 1998 is legendary for costing him $1.7 billion in assets. While the final settlement with the current Mrs. Murdoch looks to be far less due to pre- and postnuptial agreements, there are still many factors that could lead to a contentious fight in court.
Not So Different
Despite the celebrity and news coverage, the Murdoch divorce will deal with many of the same issues husbands and fathers go through during divorce all over the country. Not the least of which are issues of custody and visitation.
Working long hours and spending time away on business are just two of the many sacrifices hard working fathers make to support their families. This makes free time spent with children especially precious for dad and kids. Sadly, the other parent may use visitation as a cruel bargaining tool during the divorce. Fighting hard for visitation during holidays, school breaks, and vacations.
Fathers with full schedules and career commitments may be tempted to concede too much visitation to their ex-spouses, believing their work schedule limits the time they can spend with their children. This would be a sad decision to make. Every father deserves a reasonable and flexible schedule that will take into consideration the demands of his profession.
Endless Spousal Support
Often a divorce will end with the husband providing spousal support to his ex-wife for a limited period of time. When a husband has substantial income from hard work and success in his profession, his ex-wife may feel that she deserves more and deserves it for a much longer period of time. In some rare cases, spousal support may last decades or longer.
Just because a man is successful, does that automatically mean he has to support his ex-spouse for years to come? Not at all. The law sets reasonable limitations on spousal support. It is not designed to drain the husband dry while the ex-spouse lives off his paycheck.
A Question of Assets
It may not seem at first that any divorce could be as complex as one involving a billionaire media mogul. Still, in every divorce there are financial assets that need to be divided. Men who have achieved financial and professional success, may have more assets than they realize. Consider three high value assets, retirement plans, business ownership, and real estate.
Retirement Plans: Men who have worked hard all their lives, likely have some retirement assets. This may include pensions, 401(k) plans, IRAs, life insurance, or other retirement plans. Men who have served in the military as well as police officers and fire fighters may have substantial pensions. Men look forward to such plans supporting them in retirement. How do retirement plans get divided in a divorce? Does a wife automatically get 50% of any plan?
Business Ownership: Many successful men work for themselves, having started a small business and then worked hard for years to make it grow. Does a divorce mean the ex-spouse gets half of the business? Does the ex-spouse suddenly become the second boss of the company?
Real Estate: One nice benefit of having a measure of financial success is the ability to buy property. Own your own office for your business. Buy a summer home by the lake. Invest in commercial property. People often think first about the family home in a divorce, but what about other property? Can a wife seize the deed to the summer home? Can she kick her husband out of his company office?
These are just a few examples of the many different types of assets that can be involved in a divorce. Clearly it is not a simple matter to determine which spouse receives what property after a divorce. In fact, that is what much of the divorce proceedings are about, how to divide the property. This can be overwhelming for any man, especially under the fear of losing everything.
How to Win a Billion (Or Any) Dollar Divorce
If you are going through a divorce, you may be very interested to find out how you can win and beat the other side.
While it may often feel like it, a divorce is really not about defeating your ex-spouse in the courtroom. Divorces are about the law and the procedures of the legal system. You have legal rights that include a fair and equitable division of the marriage property. This means your wife cannot take everything and win a huge payday. But how much can she take?
The real way to “win” a divorce is to seek the very best legal advice. Attorneys experienced in divorce can explain specific details about how assets are divided in divorce. Good divorce lawyers help you build a road map through your divorce to the start of a new life.
Talk to a Divorce Lawyer for Men
Divorce Lawyers For Men™ attorneys advise and assist Washington husbands and fathers in divorce. If you are going through a divorce or believe your marriage may be coming to an end, the attorneys of Divorce Lawyers for Men are always ready to talk. Call us at (877) 866-7393 for a friendly, free consultation with a Divorce Lawyers For Men attorney today.
If you would like more information on the divorce process, or to take the best divorce resources with you in print, please check out our free divorce guide for men or contact our office to meet with an attorney about your particular circumstances.
Questions Men ask about Divorce
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