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High-value assets can complicate divorce

Getting divorced can be tough for any couple in the state of Montana. However, divorce can especially be challenging for those with high-value assets. Money can take many forms, and some of these forms make it tricky to value.

For instance, money may come in the form of a six-figure salary, or it might be available in the form of startup company equity. This equity can easily fizzle or skyrocket depending on the market and customer demand. Another example of a potentially high-value asset is restricted stock units, or RSUs; RSUs are available when an employer promises to pay employees stock after they meet particular conditions, such as launching a new product or working at the business for a certain length of time.

In Montana, any asset that a spouse owned prior to getting married is deemed separate property. Meanwhile, an asset that is acquired during the marriage must be split in an equitable manner between the two parties. For this reason, many young people in particular are seeking to draft prenuptial agreements before they get married, as these legal documents enable them to protect their assets in the event they get divorced.

During a divorce proceeding, even if a couple never put together a prenuptial agreement, the couple still has options outside of going to trial. For instance, they may try to use mediation to handle matters such as asset division -- a process that is less time consuming and more amicable than litigation. An attorney can offer guidance during such a process to make sure that one's best interests are protected long term.

Source: theguardian.com, "Big money, big ego, big bills: how to get divorced Silicon Valley style", Olivia Solon, April 19, 2017

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