When you think of high asset divorces, you may imagine a high-profile celebrity divorce. A recent example would be Tom Brady’s and Gisele Bündchen’s divorce. Rumors have been swirling around for a few weeks that the star NFL quarterback and Brazilian-born supermodel were ending their marriage. That rumor proved to be true as the power couple announced on October 28 that they were divorcing after 13 years of marriage.
But their announcement also stated that the divorce was already finalized. Wow, that was quick, you might think, especially with so many assets at stake. Brady is allegedly worth $333 million, while Bündchen is worth even more, at a whopping $400 million. Plus, they have four lavish multi-million-dollar homes together, worth more $26 million in total. They include a $17 million mansion in Miami, a $5.7 million Montana estate, a $3.6 million New York City condo, and a vacation home in Costa Rica.
But Brady, 45, and Bündchen, 42, were able to come to an amicable agreement on their vast fortune, custody arrangement, and property division. Brady had officially retired from football but decided to come back to the sport earlier this year, which no doubt led to the divorce as Bündchen tried to put her family first, which includes two children, ages 9 and 12. Although the split has been devastating for both parties, both are ultimately happy with the way things have worked out and are ready to move on.
While not all details have been released, the former couple agreed on joint custody and dividing their assets. They plan to co-parent and keep things drama free for the sake of the children. Brady’s 15-year-old son from a previous marriage is not involved in the divorce case, as Bündchen has no blood or legal ties to him, as she never formally adopted him.
While things have been amicable in the Brady-Bündchen divorce case thus far, this is far from normal. Typically, when there is so much money and assets at stake, there is a lot of drama. Couples with a high net worth tend to face a lot of challenges in a divorce, which is why they should have conversations about asset division and financial planning. Here are some things that financial advisors and high net worth individuals should be aware of when protecting their assets.
Make Sure Assets Are Titled Correctly
See how assets are titled. Are they individually or jointly held, or are they in a trust? This can determine if they should be split. It’s important for couples that an asset that was held separately before marriage can become a marital asset if the other party uses it during marriage. An example would be a house. This means that the other party can stake their claim on an asset in the event of a divorce.
Get a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement
Those with a net worth of millions of dollars don’t want to lose everything in a divorce. After you have achieved professional success, you want to hold onto your assets in the event your marriage doesn’t last. In the case of Brady and Bündchen, they got married after experiencing years of individual financial and professional successes. They came into the relationship with their own high-value assets. They likely had a prenuptial agreement, which would explain why their divorce was finalized so quickly and easily. A prenup outlines asset division based on what the couple agrees to, rather than state law. It’s never too late to get one — you can also use a postnuptial agreement after you get married.
Review Your Estate Plan
After a major life change such as a divorce, remember to take a look at your estate plan. A lot has probably changed since you last updated it. In Brady’s case, he has a child from a previous marriage plus two children with Bündchen, so he would want to ensure that all three children are included in his plan and that Bündchen is removed from it. Estate plans, including wills, investment accounts, and insurance policies, all need to be updated accordingly. Marriages and divorces can bring about complications, so it’s important to make sure everything is in writing. Verbal agreements won’t hold up in court, so don’t rely on them in the event of your death.
Contact Us Today
High-asset divorces are much more complicated than your typical divorce. There is typically a lot of money, properties, and other assets at stake. Splitting everything fairly can be quite a challenge.
The Columbus divorce attorneys at Lawrence Law Office can help you handle all the issues involved, including tax consequences, child custody and support issues, alimony concerns, and more. We have a team of experts who can assist in these challenging cases. Schedule a consultation with our office by calling 614-228-3664 or filling out the online form.