Going through a divorce and financially draining experience for anyone. However, when substantial assets are involved, the stakes become even higher. Why do you want a criminal lawyer, as opposed to a family law specialist, for your divorce case? Criminal lawyers have a unique skill set that makes them well-equipped for the complexities of high-asset divorces:
- Aggressive tactics – A qualified criminal lawyer in Mississauga are experienced in high-pressure negotiations and litigation. They can fiercely protect your interests.
- Cross-examining witnesses – Criminal lawyers are skilled at questioning witnesses to poke holes in testimony and uncover useful information. This helps counter dubious asset valuation claims.
- Discovery skills – Criminal lawyers are experts in investigation and discovery. They can uncover hidden assets and fraud that a spouse may try to conceal during the divorce.
- Knowledge of complex financials – Analyzing complex investment accounts, business interests, and real estate assets comes naturally to criminal lawyers.
- Comfort in the courtroom – If your divorce does end up in litigation, a criminal lawyer will be in their element presenting your case in court.
Look for these qualifications
If you seek a criminal lawyer for your high-asset divorce, look for these specific qualifications:
- 10+ years handling complex criminal cases – Experience with intricate white collar crime and fraud cases is ideal preparation for navigating the financial complexities of a high-asset divorce.
- Knowledge of family law – While their specialty is criminal law, look for a lawyer with significant experience in family law as well, including divorce, child custody, and spousal/child support.
- History with high-profile clients – A lawyer accustomed to handling cases for celebrities, executives, or ultra-high net worth individuals will be comfortable with the demands of a high-asset divorce.
- Certified fraud examiner – A lawyer who is a certified fraud examiner has specialized expertise in detecting fraud and following complex money trails – invaluable in a high-asset divorce case.
- CPAs and forensic accountants on staff – Having financial experts work alongside the legal team provides the best ability to analyze valuations and ferret out hidden accounts.
Questions to Ask Prospective Attorneys
It’s smart to interview several prospective high-asset divorce lawyers before deciding on representation. Key questions to ask include:
- How many high-asset divorce cases have you handled, and what was the largest? You want extensive experience with cases specifically involving millions of dollars or more in assets.
- What’s your availability? Securing adequate time and attention from your lawyer is crucial, so inquire about their caseload and bandwidth.
- How do you establish asset valuations? They should have a clear process involving forensic accountants and business valuation experts.
- What is your philosophy on settlement vs. litigation? You want a lawyer who will pursue settlement aggressively but litigate zealously if needed.
- What additional professionals do you work with? Experience collaborating with financial analysts, mental health professionals, private investigators, etc. is ideal.
- What are your fees and billing structure? Get clear terms in writing. Lawyers experienced in high-asset divorces will often work on flat fee arrangements.