2 challenges for high-earning professionals during divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 15, 2023 | Divorce And Dissolution

Those who achieve higher levels of professional success may experience a higher risk of divorce. They often spend so much time working on their careers that their marriage has to take a back seat to their professional development. By the time they realize that their marriage is no longer as happy or healthy as it once was, it may be too late to reverse the course of the relationship.

Successful professionals contemplating divorce or recently served by a spouse tend to weather specific issues that impact their divorce proceedings. Obviously, a demanding career can be a challenge for those who share custody, but not all successful professionals share children with their spouses. However, all couples generally need to split property, and conflicts often arise as a result of this reality.

Challenges addressing complex compensation packages

Perhaps someone has pension benefits that they cannot technically split but which are worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Maybe they have a contract that entitles them to deferred compensation, which effectively means they will receive a large bonus based on performance or how long they stay with the company that employs them. Deferred compensation and other unusual financial incentives for employment can make the property division process far more challenging for couples. It can be difficult to establish how much those assets are worth and the most appropriate way to divide them.

Prior promises about their standard of living

One of the factors that can influence both property division and spousal support during an Ohio divorce is what, if any, promises one spouse made to the other regarding the standard of living throughout the marriage. Higher-earning spouses often assume they will keep more of the marital estate because they contributed more financially, but the courts may consider unpaid contributions as well as the difference in earning potential when deciding what is fair.

It is generally very difficult to predict how a judge will handle complex compensation and uneven economic circumstances in a litigated divorce, so many professionals facing divorce will prioritize settling out of court so that they have more control over the final terms of their divorces. Seeking legal guidance and identifying issues that might make divorce more challenging can lead to more effective strategies and less stressful divorce proceedings.