High Net Worth Divorce Attorneys in Melbourne, FL
Serving High-Asset Professionals and Business Owners Throughout Brevard County
Divorce is a complicated process for anyone, but the level of complexity rises significantly when it comes to CEOs, professional athletes, celebrities, business owners, executives, and high-net-worth professionals. If you have a high income, high assets, own a business, multiple properties, or valuable assets, work with the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. We have years of experience dealing with high net worth divorces in and throughout Melbourne, FL.
Our team can help you fully understand the divorce process. We are dedicated to carefully examining your case’s details, including your financial status, yearly income, marital property, and all assets, so that you are clearly aware of what you may gain or lose moving forward. We have a team of allied professionals to include highly skilled forensic certified public accountants and estate, trust and probate attorneys to assist as needed. To discuss your case with our firm, please call or contact us online.
Why Do I Need a High Net Worth Divorce Attorney in Florida?
A divorce having more than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in net liquid assets has generally been described as a high-net-worth divorce. A growing number of cases today include multiple millions of dollars, and the sum has significantly increased. Such divorce matters are commonly handled by Figueroa Law Group, P.A.
There are typically four steps involved in the equitable allocation of marital assets:
- Determination of all assets.
- Careful classification of each asset as marital, separate, or non-marital, or a combination of the two.
- Each asset’s marital components should be valued; and
- Determination of any capital gains
- Determination of any taxable issues
- Distribute marital assets evenly among the parties while keeping the concept of “tax-impacting” in mind.
- Determination of any income producing assets
A high-net-worth divorce frequently presents unique financial aspects, most of which are linked to identifying, valuing, and distributing the couple’s assets. Sometimes there can be consideration of a lump sum award versus alimony payments.
Those who have worked hard to achieve this level of wealth are more vulnerable than others. To decrease their risk and ensure a full and equitable asset distribution, high-net-worth people need a skilled attorney with experience handling these types of matters.
Why are high-net-worth divorces more difficult?
Because of the more complex financial scenario in which these spouses find themselves, high net worth divorce proceedings might be more challenging than regular divorce cases. Property division, in particular, becomes a major point of conflict. This is mostly because high-net-worth couples frequently have non-traditional assets that can be hard to appraise and divide. Additionally, some assets require a determination of a marital portion of an asset or even a non-marital asset in which marital monies were used.
Other assets frequently held by high net worth individuals, in addition to the traditional assets like bank accounts, include but not limited to the following:
- Retirement accounts
- Business ownership or partnerships
- Brokerage and Investment accounts
- Real estate in and out of the State of Florida
- Stock options
- Assets in trusts
- Multiple vehicles
- Recreational vehicles
- Gold bars
Moreover, some wealthy people have complex marital agreements, including prenuptial agreements, that must be addressed (and in certain cases defended) during the process of divorce.
The Essentials of a High-Net-Worth Divorce
Division of Marital Assets
Being wealthy may increase the likelihood of reaching an amicable settlement and may be settled through the collaborative process taking it outside of the court litigation. While many couples remain together and maintain their financial obligations or restrictions, wealthier couples have more leeway when it comes to divorce because they can afford things like daycare as well as separate housing. Preserving this wealth is a major concern in high-net-worth divorces, and the allocation of marital assets is frequently the source of most issues between spouses. After the divorce, changes in each party’s estate planning may need to be made. The attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. have the skilled allied professional to handle the trust and estate issues during the divorce and post-divorce.
In Florida, all marital property—assets and debt accumulated during the marriage—is subject to equitable division in divorces. Stocks, business assets, monies in bank accounts and retirement accounts, personal property, real estate, and other assets are included. It is critical to accurately inventory all assets in a high-net-worth divorce, which can take time. There are occasions when a party concealed assets from their spouse in the form of offshore bank accounts, secret bank accounts, or even cash. In those cases of concealment, more time is required to obtain those assets to make certain these assets are included in the equitable division.
Another concern that high-net-worth divorces face is significant spending rampages before the divorce is finalized, with one partner making large last-minute purchases on everything from vehicles or jewelry to stocks and real estate. These higher purchases are considered in the equitable division and can be considered as dissipation or depletion for which that party may be held accountable.
Child support is determined by the net income of the parties and consideration of the child’s needs (schools, childcare, healthcare, housing and any special needs) The child support is determined by the number of overnights as well as the number of children the parents share.
Child custody is no longer a term of usage in Florida and only refers to which parent has physical custody at a certain time. In Florida, there is a determination as to a timesharing schedule including holidays, whether one parent will be determined to be the majority timesharing parent and who will be designated for school district and for legal purposes. Timesharing battles can last months, and as the conflict continues the child suffers as a result. The skilled and experienced attorneys at the Figueroa Law Group, P.A. can guide you on how to reduce the conflict and emotional and psychological damage to your child or children. The attorneys can competently assist you in settling disputes while still achieving your objectives.
Spousal support, often known as alimony, is money provided by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse. Alimony has many considerations for analysis. Alimony if applicable is determined after the equitable division of assets and debts. Section 61.08 of the Florida Statutes sets for the factors to be considered in whether alimony should or should not be awarded.
There is consideration given to the standard of living enjoyed during the latter part of the parties’ marriage and the length of the marriage. Additionally, factors include contributions each partner made to the marriage including if one spouse stayed home or contributed to the career of the other spouse. The court must use the factors to determine the need of the non-earning or lower-earning spouse and the ability of the higher-earning spouse to pay.
High Net Worth Divorce and Property Division
Like all other kinds of divorce, high net worth divorces not only involve issues such as child custody, alimony, and child support but also more complex division of asset and debts. The difference with high-asset cases comes down to the determination of income and accurate property division. Properties and assets in these types of divorces tend to be much more valuable and may come with significant tax considerations.
High net worth divorce cases may include the distribution of:
- Stock options
- Retirement benefits
- Trust funds
- Employee profit-sharing plans
- Real estate property/investments
- Offshore bank accounts
- Executive bonuses
- Other employee benefits
Business owners can have a particularly difficult and burdensome time during the legal process of a divorce simply because it is often problematic and complicated to distinguish and classify marital property from the non-marital property. Often the business owner shares an interest in the business with other business owners and careful consideration needs to be given in these situations.
Determining and defining marital property is only half the battle because the next step is figuring out what assets can be divided and what is their fair value. High net worth professionals and executives may have numerous forms of income, status, stock options, and other financial assets that are complex.
If you need a Melbourne, FL high net worth divorce attorney, call us today.
Tips for a high-asset divorce
Maintain Self-Control—It is always beneficial to calmly discuss the issues of the divorce and avoid negative remarks towards the other party or their attorney. Time and cost efficiency should be a priority and you will have your attorney to help you maintain your focus of making well educated financial discussions. By yelling at your partner, you are hurting yourself just as much as you are hurting them. If minor children are involved, there is also resulting emotional hurt to them as well. Divorces involving high emotions are more expensive, take longer to resolve, and cause long-term emotional damage to all parties involved.
Keep an open mind—It is critical to realize that either party in a divorce will not get all they want in a divorce. Keeping an open mind to multiple options will help both parties to achieve the best results for their situation. By doing so, will help both parties avoid the unneeded stress and avoid future litigation.
Be Realistic— In high-net-worth divorces, it is essential to have realistic expectations. Being realistic will allow you to negotiate, make concessions, and effectively communicate with your partner during these trying times.
Protect your future assets
Divorce outcomes can be greatly influenced by a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. According to Psychology Today, a second marriage has around a high percent chance of ending in divorce, although no one wishes to assume that a future union will fail. An attorney can provide you with protection through a pre-nuptial agreement, which can provide you with economic stability and peace of mind if you decide to remarry.
Call our Florida High Net Worth Divorce Attorney Now!
At Figueroa Law Group, P.A., we’ve had extensive experience with divorce cases in general. However, it’s always helpful to have a highly experienced and skilled Melbourne high-net-worth divorce attorney on your side of the table. After all, every detail of your case is an important one. Don’t leave yours up to chance—contact our firm today so we can help you find a solution.