Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
  • John C. Whitbeck, Jr.


    John C. Whitbeck, Jr. practices in the following areas of law: Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Mediation, Arbitration, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Criminal Law, DUI/DWI, Reckless Driving, All Felonies, All Misdemeanors, Juvenile Crimes, Mental Health Law, Civil and Business Litigation, Construction Litigation, Education Law, Election Law, Debt Collection, Consumer and Lemon Law.

    Learn More »
  • Ruth M. McElroy


    Ruth M. McElroy practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Pre and Post Marital Agreements, Domestic Violence, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Juvenile Crimes, Felony and Misdemeanor Crimes, Traffic Offenses, Debt Collection, Civil and Business Litigation. She serves the Virginia Court system as a Guardian ad litem.

    Learn More »
  • Jennifer D. Cisneros


    Jennifer D. Cisneros practices in the following areas of law: Family law, Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Visitation Rights, Adoptions, Spousal Support, Relocation Cases, Domestic Violence, Juvenile Crimes, Reckless Driving, DUI/DWI, Estate Planning, Wills and Probate, Trusts, Civil and Business Litigation and Debt Collection.

    Learn More »

Things to Avoid in a High Net Worth Divorce in Virginia


While the break-up of a marriage is hard enough, it isn’t always the most difficult part. Deciding on asset division, child support, and spousal support can be the most contested aspects of the process. For couples with a high net-worth, the process is even more contentious as there is a lot more at stake. One bad decision can not only have an immediate effect, but it can cause problems years down the line.

If you and your spouse are considering a divorce and have a high net-worth, it’s important you speak with a skilled Virginia divorce attorney who has experience handling family law matters involving large asset portfolios. In addition, here are several things to avoid during your divorce that can cause an unfavorable outcome or delay the process.

Hiding Assets

It may be tempting for some people to try and hide assets out of fear, but It’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make in a high net-worth divorce. Virginia is an equitable distribution state, which means assets are divided in an equitable manner. That doesn’t mean 50/50 split down the middle on everything. It may feel unfair, but the idea is that both parties leave with a fair share of the marital assets. There are paper trails for everything, and if your spouse thinks you are hiding money or other assets, they can use the services of a forensic accountant to find out what is going on.

Not Considering Tax Implications

While it might seem the like the end goal is to get everything and anything you can in the divorce, it is imperative to understand what tax implications lie ahead. You should speak with a financial planner and work with your divorce attorney to understand what assets and accounts would be in your best interest to hold on to and which ones are best to compromise on.

Going with the Wrong Attorney

Picking the right attorney in a high net-worth divorce is crucial. Don’t just opt for the cheapest or first attorney you find online because you want it over with. Your divorce attorney is your biggest advocate and an expert who can help you take the emotions out of this difficult time by focusing on what needs to happen to ensure you don’t lose everything.

Don’t Forgo the Experts

There may be times when you need the services of experts in your divorce due to your expansive or complicated asset portfolio. If you and your spouse own a business or have a number of accounts that are difficult to place a value on, you might need a business valuation expert. The forensic accountant who can search for missing assets might be able to uncover a lot more about what your spouse has been doing with his or her finances. You may be hesitant to spend money on the use of experts, but they can play a critical role in a divorce, especially one with a complex asset portfolio.

Retaining a Virginia Divorce Attorney

If you are preparing to file for divorce or your spouse has served you with divorce papers, contact Whitbeck Cisneros McElroy PC. Let one of our skilled family law attorneys help ensure your rights are protected and you receive a fair distribution of your marital assets. Contact us at 703-997-4982 to schedule a consultation.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2017 - 2020 Whitbeck, Cisneros, McElroy, P.C., Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by MileMark Media.



Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 provides that businesses that offer professional rather than retail services may remain open. Our firm is continuing to operate to ensure you and your family have advocates available for whatever legal issue you face. For clients who prefer, we can arrange meeting by Zoom or other video-conferencing. We are also implementing internal procedures to provide a safe environment in the office. Please contact us at 703-777-1795 or schedule an appointment today!