Divorce’s Emotional Impact on High Net Worth Families


Divorce is never easy, but for families with substantial assets, it can be particularly challenging. They must contend with the same emotional aspects as anyone else, but they must also struggle with massive financial implications.

In this article, we highlight the emotional struggles unique to high asset families going through a divorce.

The Financial Complexity of a High Asset Divorce

High asset divorces require specialized knowledge and skilled representation. There often involve multiple assets such as businesses, real estate, investments, and expensive collections. All this property comes into consideration when dividing the marital estate.

Trying to fairly distribute this property adds to the already difficult divorce process. Families with high assets often experience elevated levels of stress and anxiety.

Stress in a High Net Worth Divorce

The very concept of ownership often leads to conflict. Anyone who spends time around children knows how quickly they can fight over something, claiming that “It’s mine!”

Adults aren’t’ so different. When significant assets are on the line, a once-harmonious family can become bitter rivals.

Possessions that once brought joy suddenly become sources of contention and animosity. The pressure of handling wealth in a divorce often results in finger-pointing and intense scrutiny.

Additionally, spouses in high net worth divorces are subject to public scrutiny. The pressure to maintain appearances for social status can add more pressure and stress. Meanwhile, people of average means often show little sympathy toward wealthy couples getting divorced. They often assume that you should “be able to handle” your pain, and you’re “just being a baby.”

The problem of ownership is not your only concern. In a high asset divorce, your decisions can have significant consequences. The slightest missteps can lead to costly mistakes, permanently impacting your financial future.

All of these factors can lead to a seemingly never-ending cycle of stress and anxiety. If you are in this situation, take the time to thoroughly understand your options and work with a knowledgeable attorney. They can help you reach a fair agreement that will both spouses up for success.

Moreover, don’t neglect your self-care. Schedule time with a mental health professional, and surround yourself with supportive friends and family members.

Effective Parenting Plans and Custody Arrangements

Having wealth does not make you immune to the normal stress everyone faces in a divorce. You are still breaking up a family unit, and you still love your kids the same as any other parent. Furthermore, you must remember that the divorce will take its toll on the children, too.

You can help make the adjustment easier on the kids by establishing a clear parenting plan. These plans include custody arrangements, visiting schedules, etc.

Handled properly, a parenting plan can help the children feel secure, and it can maintain a sense of stability.

Parenting plans also help reduce conflict between parents. They clearly outline each parent’s duties and expectations. Less uncertainty means there are fewer opportunities to bicker about misunderstandings.

Ultimately, the parenting plan’s goal is to give children a consistent schedule and a safe, nurturing environment.

Reducing Discord Between Divorcing Parents

  • Seek help from a qualified therapist.
  • Commit to maintaining open lines of communication.
  • Stay respectful of one another, even when you don’t agree.
  • Attend mediation. This process is extremely helpful in resolving conflicts and getting everyone on the same page.
  • Establish clear guidelines and expectations for parenting, such as how to make decisions and who is responsible for different aspects of the child's life. Your parenting plan will help you with this part.

Coping Strategies

When going through a high asset divorce, you must remember to take care of yourself.

Self-care involves:

  • Eating well
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Making time for things that make you happy

You should also surround yourself with a support system of friends and family. They can offer words of encouragement and lend a listening ear when you need to vent. Remember, you don't have to go through this alone.

Seeking help from a therapist or counselor is also beneficial. This is a time to prioritize your mental and emotional health, so you can finish this difficult process stronger and ready for the next chapter in your life.

Ford & Friedman is here to represent you in a high net worth divorce. We can do the heavy lifting, allowing you to focus on taking care of yourself and your family. To consult with our team, you can call our office at (702) 904-9898 or contact us online.

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