A divorce may be simple in concept: a married couple chooses to separate. However, the process can be much more complicated.
For instance, a divorce in Florida needs to be “equitable,” according to the law. That means that divorcing partners will split their shared assets fairly, rather than getting a 50/50 split.
But, how is fairness determined? Should the spouse who makes more money be entitled to more? Sometimes the answer is “no.”
Choosing the right attorney can be a huge help in navigating these grey-areas.
High-asset divorces: often comparatively complex
Experienced family law attorneys with proven acumen in property division matters fundamentally know that high-net-worth divorces can be especially challenging, and for many reasons. As an initial matter, those above-cited nonmarital assets must be identified, because they are ultimately excluded in a property distribution outcome. Such property includes wealth from sources like the following:
- Assets belonging solely to one spouse prior to marriage
- Income secured during marriage from pre-marriage owned assets
- Property that is acquired separately by one spouse via gifting or inheritance
- Assets deigned separate property by a marital contract such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
Once all nonmarital property has been identified and excluded from any distribution analysis, consideration duly turns to the identification and valuation of marital wealth. And that too can trace to multiple and varied sources in a high-asset decoupling, including these:
- Retirement and pension accounts
- Company-linked stock options, profit sharing and deferred compensation
- Realty holdings, which can include multiple properties
- Insurance policies and other coverage programs
- Collectibles and memorabilia
- Gifts, income and asset appreciation realized during marriage
The bottom line for many couples engaged in high-asset divorce spotlights broad-based complexity ranging from asset identification and valuation to the proper designation of property and its ultimately fair distribution.
Proven legal counsel in a high-net-worth divorce
A family law legal team with a deep background in complex divorce representation can provide singular insights into the strategies that best avail clients in high-asset divorces.
Sometimes – and as noted in a recent Forbes article – optimal results flow best from an attorney-led team that includes one or more experts in areas closely relevant to asset identification and valuation.
An experienced lawyer can accurately assess what a client needs in the way of resources. Forbes duly notes that a proven legal advocate will “quarterback [a divorce strategy] with knowledge and finesse.” In some instances, an optimally effective divorce team might include professionals such as a property appraiser and/or forensic accountant.
An individual focused on marital property identification, valuation and distribution might logically have a number of questions and concerns.
A results-driven legal team can effectively respond to them.