Divorcing under the best circumstances can be complicated and stressful. When high assets or wealth is the focus of a divorce, the process to settlement generally takes more time. High asset divorces differ in numerous ways from typical divorces and we’ve outlined a few of these differences for you below. Similarities like high conflict and increased emotions can be heightened in either case but high net worth divorces often carry a great deal of stress. Hiring an experienced divorce attorney will be your very best asset in both contested divorces or high net worth divorces.
Equitable Distribution in High Net Worth Divorces
In Florida, equitable distribution presumes an equal distribution of assets between spouses. In a high asset divorce, the landscape of distribution can change somewhat and the legal battle over what the equal and “fair” division of assets can become quite complex. The unequal distribution of assets in both a typical contested divorce and a high net worth divorce is governed under Section 61.075 of the Florida Statutes. If one or both parties have high net worth your divorce attorney must be experienced in representing wealthy clients.
Comparison of High Net Worth Divorce vs. Typical Contested Divorce
Prenuptial agreements – As a seasoned high net worth divorce attorney, it’s been my experience that when one or the other spouse has high net worth, they frequently bring prenuptial agreements to the table. Prenuptial agreements are generally absent in standard divorces.
Asset Division or Equitable Distribution – Couples who decide to divorce amicably can often become hostile when it comes time for splitting assets. This is true especially in divorces where one spouse has attained the majority of the assets during the marriage and the other has been financially dependent. The fact remains that the assets must be divided according to Florida Law. Thus, your legal counsel must be capable and determined to meet your goals. Accurate evaluations of income and assets are crucial. When there are business assets, retirement assets or other complex assets that are associated with high net worth divorces this can require the assistance of professionals such as forensic accountants. In a typical contested divorce where high net worth is absent, forensic accountants or consultants are generally not needed.
Time – Every divorce case is unique. However, high net worth divorces have a tendency to take more time to finalize. This is true just by virtue of the time that must be spent properly evaluating and dividing assets. Frequently in a high asset divorce case there are multiple attorneys, consultants or experts. Divorce cases that have high conflict but not high assets also can turn into lengthy, complex cases. Generally this is the exception and not the rule in typical divorces.
Alimony – In Florida alimony can be awarded in any divorce where the law allows including a typical divorce. In a high net worth divorce where both spouses have high assets, alimony may or may not be sought out or awarded. When one spouse is considered the wage earner or the “high net worth spouse,” the other party will likely need and seek out financial assistance in the form of alimony. It is crucial that you hire a high net worth divorce attorney with experience representing clients in alimony cases.
Child Support – Child support will need to be settled in both high net worth divorces and standard contested divorces. In Florida both parents are obligated to contribute to the financial needs of their children. In a high net worth divorce, determining accurate income or “cash flow” is extremely important when determining child support. This is true in every divorce, but when high assets are the focus, a high net worth divorce attorney will want to focus on the issue of over paying or underpaying of child support.
Child Custody – In any divorce children’s issues such as custody and time sharing must be resolved. High assets rarely effect the outcome unless one or the other uses their wealth to create conflict. In both typical and high net worth divorces, we strive to encourage a narrative that will result in a settlement that is in the best interest of the children according to Florida Law.
Collaborative Divorce – Pasco, Hernando, Citrus
Frequently couples choose to hire high net worth divorce lawyers opt for a collaborative divorce process. It’s important to realize that your divorce attorney should be a skilled negotiator as well as an experienced trial lawyer or “litigator.” Similar results can be achieved without using a collaborative process minus the imposed restrictions should your case end up in trial. If you would like to speak to Wendy about the pros and cons of collaborative divorces, please contact our law firm at 727-824-5727 to schedule a consultation.
High Net Worth Divorce Attorney – Hudson, Spring Hill, Brooksville, Pine Ridge
Hiring a Florida family law attorney who is experienced in providing top-notch legal guidance and representation in high net worth divorces is an important step if you are divorcing in Tampa Bay. Although most high net worth divorces are settled out of court, if your case does ends up in trial you can be confident that Attorney Doyle-Palumbo possesses the trial experience you’ll need. Wendy has the skill that is relevant to meeting your goals in both a high net worth divorce or in a typical contested divorce. If you need to hire a high net worth divorce attorney in Pasco, Hernando or Citrus County, Florida you may schedule a consultation today.
From her Hudson Florida Family Law Office , Wendy represents clients who are seeking legal guidance in a high net worth divorce case including those from Hudson, Spring Hill, Brooksville and Citrus County, FL. She also represents high net worth divorce clients in Pinellas County, Florida at the Law firm of Doyle, McCabe, Uccello in Pinellas Park FL.