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High Net Worth Divorce
Individuals with considerable assets or income face complex issues when confronting a high net worth divorce — from unique property situations such as how to deal with a family business to addressing complex taxation issues in property distribution and support obligations.
How is a High Net Worth Divorce Different than a Typical Divorce?
In general, the division of assets and property in high net worth Florida divorce is held to the same rule of “equitable distribution” as all other Florida divorce cases. During divorce proceedings, the court identifies what property or assets are considered “marital” or “nonmarital,” meaning which of these is legally bound by rules of equitable division.
According to Florida Statute 61.075, any “assets acquired during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them,” as well as “the enhancement in value and appreciation of nonmarital assets resulting either from the efforts of either party during the marriage” qualify as marital. This also includes, “All vested and non-vested benefits, rights, and funds accrued during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs.” In essence, this means anything of value that occurs within the timeframe of your Florida sanctioned marriage may be considered a “Marital Asset” unless otherwise defined in a prenuptial agreement.
If instead you own or acquire assets prior to marriage, such as property, gifts or an inheritance, these may be deemed “Non-marital Assets.” Similarly, any income or equity obtained through appreciation of said assets will remain non-marital.
Valuation and division of high-value marital assets
Our divorce attorneys at Brodie & Friedman, P.A., have extensive legal experience representing clients in high asset divorce litigation and advising clients through resolving matters in divorce mediation. Our divorce trial lawyers are aggressive advocates of your interests and can provide effective strategies tailored to achieve your goals.
How Are Property and Assets Divided in Florida Divorce?
One of the most difficult issues in a divorce involving individuals of high net worth is that the couple often shares business assets, professional practices, investment accounts, multiple properties and other highly valued assets. High net worth Florida couples tend to own more property and assets than average couples, making this stage of divorce lengthier and more complex. At the outset of divorce proceedings, each spouse must give careful consideration to determine what assets are marital and subject to equitable distribution. It is extremely important to provide diligent accounting and not withhold anything from your spouse. A capable legal team will also apply strategy to ensure your spouse is not withholding anything from you either. In order to identify the stated value of any existing property and assets, a certified forensic accounting expert (CPA) or appraiser may be employed to perform the required assessments.
Brodie Friedman’s Boca Raton divorce attorney team works with forensic experts, business accountants and other experts that handle matters which frequently arise in high net worth divorce case, including:
- Deciding what to do with a family business
- Obtaining a comprehensive business valuation and appraisal
- Defining asset characterization
- Identifying if a qualified domestic relations order is necessary for the division of retirement assets
- Investigating suspicions of hidden assets and offshore accounts
- Addressing tax considerations in determining alimony and child support
Following a qualified business investigation, our accounting team can provide financial data in support of a fair market valuation of all assets and property. This appraisal will be the basis of settlement in equitable distribution. Either party may choose to compensate the other with a cash value “buyout” or the couple may liquidate the shared asset and divide the sale amount.