When a couple marries, they may spend their years together building success and finding ways to enjoy that success. Their hard work and good fortune may allow them to enjoy the finer things in life. However, if the marriage comes to an end and a high-asset divorce is on the horizon, the couple may face frustration and complications over the division of those assets.
A divorcing couple with many valuable assets may expect to spend considerable time hashing out the particulars of asset division, and it is not likely to be a pleasant process. One recent example is the widely publicized divorce of Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation. Gates and his wife of 27 years, Melinda, recently announced their intention to divorce. The couple does not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement on file.
A fortune on the line
Estimated at over $130 billion, their estate includes a considerable stake in the Four Seasons international luxury hotel chain, hundreds of thousands of acres of American farmland and priceless works of art, in addition to vehicles, stocks and other assets. They also reportedly own numerous mansions, estates and ranches across the country as well as a New York townhome. About 20% of this wealth comes from shares in the company Bill founded over 40 years ago.
Couples facing a high-asset divorce may have these or similar items to valuate and negotiate before reaching a settlement. In some cases, the courts must decide how to divide the property. In either situation, the process typically takes time and determination to reach a fair resolution.