Much like a complex or a substantial business transaction, a high-asset divorce may require an analysis of complex financial issues, including sophisticated valuation issues, tax implications, projections for growth of certain assets and other complexities. In a contested high-asset divorce case, our law firm works closely with a variety of experts to ensure that all marital assets are identified, appraised and fairly divided.
For example, when a business or professional practice is considered part of the marital estate, our West Palm Beach high net worth divorce law firm will use a business valuation expert to analyze the cash flow and financial statements of the business or professional practice in order to determine its value. This valuation can be crucial because quite often the business or professional practice may be the most valuable marital asset.
A benefit of obtaining a valuation of a business early in a high-asset divorce case is that it permits us to present persuasive positions during negotiations so that we can reduce the probability of incurring additional cost and expense for our clients. In other words, working closely with a business valuation expert can provide us with a clear and concise analysis regarding the value of a business. In turn, the added clarity to an otherwise complicated financial issue may prevent those same issues from being further contested or litigated at trial. In the event that the issue is further contested, the expert can be called as a witness to testify in court.
In addition to the above business valuation expert, our West Palm Beach high-asset divorce law firm also utilizes other experts, including forensic accountants to address tax issues or to address questions about the accuracy of the amount on the books of a business. In addition to tracking down marital assets that the other spouse is attempting to conceal, Forensic accountants may also assist with complex tax-related issues especially where there is some ambiguity about the exact tax ramifications of a particular distribution of assets or debts. When high net worth marital estates and substantial earnings are involved, the tax consequences of particular property distribution arrangements can have a substantial impact on the fairness of the division of marital property. This includes the value that one party may receive in the form of deferred tax consequences.
Another type of expert that may prove valuable in contested high net worth divorce cases involving the issue of alimony is a vocational expert. When the earning capacity of one of the parties is in question, the vocational expert can analyze the education, training and work experience of a spouse to determine the current and future earning capacity of the spouse for purposes of determining the amount of alimony.
Above are just a few basic examples of the different experts that may be needed in a contested high-asset divorce case. Depending on the specific facts of the case, additional experts, such as real estate appraisers who can determine the value of both residential and commercial property, pension valuation experts, and fine art consultants/appraisers, may also be required.