For people in Pennsylvania dealing with the end of a marriage, divorce can always be a difficult time on both an emotional and a practical level. The disentangling of one’s personal lives can be extremely difficult, but this can be intensified tremendously by the disentangling of financial lives. For people with high-powered careers and substantial assets, property division can be particularly challenging.

A number of high-asset divorces involve people with careers in the tech industry, including those who have founded start-ups or who have invented or developed new technologies. Some areas of the country, like Silicon Valley, have become centers of tech wealth, and these areas of the country are also developing trends in dealing with high-asset divorces.

Asset division can be complicated when a company is running on venture capital and has not yet been sold or otherwise monetized; while shares in the corporation itself can be divided, this can cause its own problems as ex-spouses become business partners. The startup economy can also mean that few people have prenuptial agreements protecting their involvement in existing businesses before marriage; in many cases, the businesses in question were developed during the marriage.

Even in a state like Pennsylvania, which follows rules of equitable distribution rather than community property, this means that business assets developed after the marriage are subject to distribution.In cases involving assets like shares in a business, a divorce could force a sale of a company or help push towards monetization. In other cases, one partner could retain the business, particularly if the value of the business is compensated for by other assets divided in the divorce such as stocks, investment funds or real property.

High-asset divorces bring with them an array of unique challenges. A divorce attorney may be able to help a person going through a divorce with significant assets to pursue a just and fair settlement and protect his or her interests.