Multiple issues can arise in a high net worth divorce that you would not typically encounter in other divorce cases involving couples who do not own significant financial assets due to the complexity and diversity of owned properties and incurred debts.
Both community and separate property (in cases when it becomes commingled with marital property) can be divided and awarded to either spouse at the end of a high net worth divorce. Therefore, it is essential to adequately prove ownership and determine, first and foremost, separate vs. marital property.
The particularities of a high net worth divorce are dictated by:
Common issues in high net worth divorces
Further frequent concerns to high asset divorces include the following:
- Marital property division disputes - high new worth spouses typically own a significant amount of assets subject to division during divorce, such as homes, commercial property, investments, businesses with related incomes and debts, retirement accounts, and many more. Property and debt acquired throughout the marriage are divided in an equitable manner.
- Establishing an accurate value of assets - ensuring that marital property is adequately valued can turn into a tedious process, primarily when a business is involved and its evaluation is based on its open market pricing. The multitude of property in a high asset divorce requires the expertise of attorneys who partner up with specialists to properly examine all assets, including real estate, art collections, investments, or retirement accounts, among others.
- Tax considerations when transferring assets - following separation, tax issues must be correctly addressed to avoid unnecessary consequences. Dividing a couple’s assets often implies transactions that could create significant financial burdens, which is why understanding necessary aspects of tax law can help avoid unexpected tax bills throughout the process.
- Calculating child support and spousal support payments - your children and spouse have the right to the same financial circumstances they enjoyed before your divorce. Under Florida law, child support is calculated according to each spouse's income, considering the total number of children that the couple has and the timeshare agreement. Decisions concerning alimony are often based on each spouse's contribution to the household, their future earning potential, and the resources necessary to maintain their current lifestyle.
- Duration of a high net worth divorce - due to their complex nature, such divorce cases often undergo lengthy court proceedings, ensuring the vast marital property is appropriately valued and subsequently divided. New disputes may arise when spouses cannot agree on asset division, further slowing down the process, or when there are other non-financial considerations involved.
- Confidentiality and privacy concerns - drawing unwanted publicity upon a high net worth divorce is not something that couples usually approve of. Nevertheless, minimizing public attention can be a primary matter to be handled with priority during the separation process.
Several elements surrounding a high asset divorce go beyond property identification and valuation. Thus, it is of utmost importance to rely on the proficiency of a reputable attorney specializing in this area of practice.
If your case involves high assets, The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary can help you by providing expert legal advice in your high net worth divorce proceeding, reducing your risks, and improving your chances of fair property distribution.