An intimidating part of getting a divorce is not knowing what to expect. The fear of years of court battles and complications may have you hesitant to proceed. Maybe you have seen how your friends’ divorces have gone and believe yours will go the same, whether good or bad.

Every case is different, because every couple is different and has a unique situation. What happens to others is not a reflection of what your divorce will be like. Even when high assets are involved, you can have a smooth divorce if you prepare properly.

Basic divorce process

The basic steps to divorce are pretty much the same anywhere. You have to file paperwork to begin the process. You must submit documents concerning property and children. The court has to approve the terms of your divorce if you and your spouse create them. Otherwise, the judge will decide on the terms. If you cannot agree on issues regarding children, the state of Minnesota requires you to take a class. 

Special considerations for high assets

What can make divorce more complicated is numerous, valuable assets. One spouse may try to hide property or money from the other. The division of retirement funds can have tax penalties. How much claim your spouse has on your business will depend on many factors. The risk of making a mistake in handling real estate in the divorce is high. Figuring everything out takes a team of professionals, from attorneys to appraisers to accountants, to prevent errors or unfair results.

Options for a better outcome

The good news is that a high-asset situation does not have to mean long, expensive litigation. You have other options if you both want to end things as fast and civilly as possible and focus on the family’s best interests.

For example, you can negotiate the terms through mediation instead of in the courtroom. With this approach, a neutral mediator helps you two to communicate and create an agreement you both accept. The outcome is a shorter, less costly, less stressful divorce.