Most divorces are complicated for both parties, especially when there is a lot of money, property and children involved. It’s no surprise that high net worth divorces in Florida oftentimes turn into high-conflict cases where much is at stake. It’s easy to lose your focus during these intensely personal and emotional proceedings, making it harder to see the bigger picture. Doubt and suspicion sometimes overshadows these cases, leaving the parties to fear being done wrong or given an unfair share of the assets. The best chance of getting through these situations is to remain civil and discreet.
If you’re looking to file for divorce knowing that there is a lot of money and property at stake, it’s important to make plans before beginning formal proceedings. You don’t want to be in the midst of a legal battle as you’re trying to figure things out. Developing an intelligent plan is key – and this can be done with the help of an experienced Florida divorce lawyer. Some helpful tips include:
- Keeping your case out of the public eye
- Remaining civil
- Mitigating real damage to the underlying financial structure of your family
- Protecting your children’s best interests if the other party becomes alienating or uncooperative
Why Keep Your Divorce Outside the Courtroom
A high net worth divorce doesn’t have to turn into a battlefield. There is a chance to get through the ordeal quickly and in one piece, so long as both parties stay level headed. If possible, it’s best to keep the divorce outside of the courtroom, allowing you and your spouse to set the strongest foundation possible for your children’s financial security. But this is only a possibility if both sides remain cooperative.
Another reason to keep your divorce out of the courtroom is that it allows both sides to determine the divorce agreement. Without a judge, you have the freedom to customize and innovate solutions that best suits your family and situation. Judges aren’t able to do this because they lack the insight into your family.
There will be compromises made, so don’t expect to get everything you want. Both sides will have to give a little and take a little to make this work outside the court. Reaching an agreement with your spouse will enable the two of you to use practical solutions the both of you came up with, rather than being forced by the court to do something you both disagree with.
A private divorce ensures everyone involved, including your children, remain out of the public eye of scrutiny, which can quickly escalate the problems at hand.
Marital Assets and Debts
In the state of Florida, equitable distribution is utilized, rather than community property. So before the division of property is made, the court first looks at which assets are marital and non-marital. The non-marital assets are then excluded from division. It requires both parties to fully disclose both non-marital and marital assets. Untangling assets involved in high net worth cases can be daunting, which is why it’s recommended that you obtain professional help. This is necessary so that alimony and child support payments are properly calculated.
Non-marital assets and liabilities include those that were incurred or obtained before the marriage took place. This includes gifts from other people besides the spouse and assets that were excluded inside of a prenuptial agreement.
In the case for marital assets and liabilities, this includes those incurred or acquired during the marriage, individually or jointly. This includes gifts given from the spouse, annuities, pensions, insurance plans, profit sharing and more.
It can be hard assigning a value to certain assets, requiring the expertise of a valuation professional and appraiser. These experts can help determine the value of a business, antique collections and other marital property.
Florida requires equitable distribution to be performed before calculating alimony. It is possible for temporary alimony to be granted, though. One spouse has to request spousal support for it to be potentially granted.
If you need assistance with a high net worth divorce in Florida, contact our office to schedule a consultation.