What Every High-Income Earner Should Know About Divorce

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If you own significant assets and generate substantial income, and you're getting divorced, you've probably faced the reality that the more money you made, the more money you have on the line. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement in place, your spouse could be entitled to up to 50% of your net wealth accumulated during your marriage - and possibly more. While a Miami high net worth divorce may be more complicated and require more sophisticated handling, a skilled attorney can make the difference. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we can assist you in identifying individual assets and reducing potential tax liabilities in high net worth divorces that require skill and creativity to manage all of the obstacles.

We put together a list of the most critical things every high-income earning spouse should pay attention to before starting the divorce process:

Value Your Businesses and Unique Assets

In most high net worth divorce cases, valuations are the first thing to think about. You should not rely on what you or your partner believe your businesses and assets may be worth. It's critical to establish their value.

Valuations can range from valuing enterprises to valuing one-of-a-kind assets, such as artwork. When it comes to business interests, whether it's a family business or stock ownership in a closely held corporation, it's usually required to hire an expert to value the firm or business interest.

We recommend hiring a forensic accountant or a business appraiser to value your business. Intelligent and judicious use of experts usually saves time and money in the global settlement of your case.

The divorce Court, on the other hand, will split the marital estate fairly based on fair market valuations. Without an expert leader in their sector, there may be wide variances in worth, resulting in an unjust split. Worse, the Court may judge a business to be worthless when it is, in fact, extremely valuable.

One of the first questions we should ask an expert about is whether there is any transferable value.

To put it another way, would the firm survive under new ownership, or is the litigant simply employing their unique skills to gain money through a business entity? As a result, the business's equitably divided objective market value is what a third-party would pay for it or the litigant's ownership of it.

Because the value of a business may range from zero to millions of dollars, a prudent litigant begins a business valuation early in the process. Who is your expert?

A savvy litigator begins a company valuation early in the process since the value of a business might range from $0 to millions of dollars. Who is your expert?

At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we work with:

  • qualified CPAs
  • tax professionals
  • financial planners
  • forensic economists
  • business valuation authorities

to identify the correct valuation of:

  • restricted stock awards
  • tangible and intangible business assets
  • commercial property assets
  • active and passive appreciation of investments
  • business or personal investments
  • as well as inheritances obtained during the marriage
  • compensation packages and pensions unique to executives

Afterward, we can assist you in structuring complex property division and alimony agreements that minimize prospective tax consequences. In all parts of our representation, we maintain the highest discretion.

Protect Your Privacy

Divorce filings are, in general, public records. As a result of this provision, most documents filed with the divorce court are open to the public at all times. While some material is kept private and only the parties and their attorneys have access to it, a Marital Settlement Agreement or decision issued by the Court following a contentious trial is usually public.

In practice, this implies that a third party with no involvement in your situation could review the agreement you reached or the Court's ruling following a trial and use such private and sensitive material to your and your company's detriment. Experienced counsel, on the other hand, can direct you to the legal remedies available under Florida law to safeguard your privacy, including your financial privacy, throughout a divorce.

Craft a Settlement Tailored to Your Needs

You have the opportunity to uniquely negotiate a property settlement that allows you to divide assets in a way that the divorce court could not. Because the parties have the constitutional right to negotiate for asset and liability distribution in divorce, they may agree to divide their assets on conditions that the divorce court would not be able to order.

An experienced divorce lawyer will assist you in drafting a settlement tailored to your specific needs and those of your company, all while looking beyond what the Court might impose if the case goes to a final hearing.

When a case goes to trial, a skilled divorce lawyer will work closely with you and any specialists to make a solid case to the judge. This includes:

  • the issue of why the Court should divide the assets in the way you request at trial, as well as
  • accounting for all assets and
  • clearly describing assets in the evidence to the Court.

Complex financial difficulties raise complex legal issues. It is vital to have an attorney familiar with these concerns and can properly argue them in Court.

How Can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help With Your High Net Worth Divorce?

You'll want to select an attorney who you can trust and who understands your situation. An attorney who also runs a business will understand your situation better than anybody else.

You'll also want to choose an attorney that will represent you, understand you and recognize your situation during any legal matter. Our Miami-based team is ready to assist you and your family. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we pride ourselves on possessing a particular personal mindset that favors us to relate with our clients.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.