Part 2: Lessons in high net worth divorce

In our last post we focused on some of the lessons that can be learned from any high net worth divorce that makes the news. In this post, while the divorce news is between Rupert Murdoch and Wendi Deng, a Missouri father should know the issues these two are facing are ones that anyone can face while going through a divorce.

While the focus of the last post was more centered on property division and marital assets in divorce, in this post we are going to talk about child custody and child support — which for many parents — are the most important aspects of a divorce.

When talking about child custody, the first thing to realize is the laws are different in different states. This means while a friend who went through a divorce in North Carolina may have advice, it is best to speak with an attorney in Missouri in order to learn the laws of the state where the divorce is actually taking place. If not, this can lead to unnecessary confusion regarding parental rights and responsibilities.

Aside from child custody and a visitation schedule, typically one parent also pays child support. While this money goes toward things like food, clothing and housing, parents should also know there may be arrangements related to medical bills, extracurricular activities and education.

For some children, when their parents get divorced — especially in the case of a high net worth divorce — many say their goal is to keep their child’s standard of living the same. However, if this standard of living included things like private planes and vacationing in a second home, everyone should know this standard may change after a divorce. Basically, there are limits for what parents should reasonably expect after a divorce.

In the end, the take away message is that divorce can be tricky for anyone. And while gossip on the latest celebrity divorce may not be everyone’s thing, there may still be something to learn from these divorces.

Source: The New York Times, “From a Prominent Divorce in the Affluent Class, Lessons for All,” Paul Sullivan, Aug. 9, 2013

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