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The Nuances of a High Net Worth Divorce with Michelle Smith

A divorce is a divorce is a divorce. And yet, there is a different layer of complication when divorce involves high net worth individuals. Whether the wealth came from an inheritance or wages earned during the marriage, there is a strong emotional charge involved as the divorcing couple sorts out who is entitled to what.

Michelle Smith is one of the most sought-after divorce financial specialists in the country. As the founder and CEO of Smith FSG, she is dedicated to providing clients with guidance and expertise as they determine the best path forward through the divorce process. Michelle has 25-plus years of experience in the field, and she is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Divorce Mediator. Michelle is a regular contributor to national media and coauthor of Divorce & Your Finances.

Today, Michelle joins Katherine to discuss what constitutes a high net worth divorce and the layers of complication involved. She speaks to the nuances of a divorce involving generational wealth versus wealth earned during the marriage, explaining how the source of the money influences the triggers that come up. Michelle also offers insight on the importance of setting ground rules for financial transparency early in the process to avoid delays as well as significant additional costs. Listen in as Michelle explores the challenge around appreciating each other’s contribution to the marriage and the necessity of putting your children’s needs first—regardless of the financial circumstances.


The layers of complication in high net worth divorce

Why Michelle looks to the source of wealth for triggers

Generational wealth vs. wealth earned during marriage

The need to avoid huge disparity between households

Why it matters if you’re past prime wage-earning years

The challenge of appreciating each other’s contribution

What all divorces have in common regardless of means

Why you owe it to your children to put their needs first

The need to set ground rules for financial transparency

The human instinct to protect money you earned

The added complexity when the breadwinner is female

Why Michelle is called to fix the broken model of divorce


Smith FSG

Email msmith@smithfsg.com


The Center for Understanding Conflict

Miller Law Group

Katherine on LinkedIn

The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller

Email katherine@westchesterfamilylaw.com

Call (914) 738-7765