High Net Divorce
Filing a divorce is a difficult process for any couple, but it can be especially stressful for high-net-worth individuals who must divide valuable assets such as homes and properties. Since almost every dissolution requires property division, this can become quite a contentious issue if the couple has a significant number of assets together. This is especially true if there is a large income gap disparity between the divorcing couple.
Unfortunately, high net divorces pose many challenges. The divorce process can be more costly, time consuming, and often create greater frustration for both parties due to the value of each asset. Despite these challenges, there are options you can pursue in order to reduce the tension that accompanies a high net divorce. The first step is to retain a skilled family law attorney who can advocate for your rights throughout the distribution of assets process.
High Net Divorce Lawyer, Broward County FL
If you're in search of a Fort Lauderdale high asset divorce attorney in Broward County FL, look no further. At Bacchus Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale family law attorneys have years of experience fighting for the rights of high-net worth individuals engaged in divorce. We can utilize our extensive knowledge and expertise in family law practice on your behalf.
Bacchus Law Firm accepts high net divorce cases in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, East Naples, or LaBelle, Florida. Call (954) 500-5555 to set up a free consultation with Bacchus Law Firm today. Do not go through this situation alone. Having an experienced and zealous lawyer will be invaluable to you and your family during this difficult time.
- What is Considered a High Net Divorce?
- Separate Property vs Marital Property in Florida
- Challenges in a Florida High Net Divorce
- Hiding Assets in a High Net Divorce
- Alimony in a High Net Divorce
- Additional Resources
A high net-worth divorce is defined as a divorce that involves over $1 million in net liquid assets. Although this may sound like a high amount, many are surprised to learn they are considered a high-net worth individual due to the value of the assets they’ve collected over a lifetime. High net worth divorces often include various valuable assets such as residential homes, business assets, retirement accounts, business interests, and commercial properties. Additional assets that are often held by high-net worth individuals include:
- Investment accounts
- Stock options
- Real estate and property holdings
- International or out-of-state assets
The challenges in a high asset divorce are the same as in any divorce. Child support, child custody, alimony, and debts are all issues that must be addressed. Typically, the most contentious issue in a high net divorce is property division.
One of the best ways to protect your assets is to consult a skilled Fort Lauderdale high net divorce lawyer before starting the divorce process. This is where Bacchus Law Firm can step in and help you determine how you can present your case in a way that maximizes the assets you keep after the divorce is finalized.
The first step in dividing property in a high net divorce involves categorizing all of the assets involved. Per Florida Statute 61.075, assets can be divided into two categories: marital property and separate property. Marital property is property acquired during the marriage. Separate property, also known as nonmarital property, refers to any property the couple acquired separately before the marriage.
Under Florida law, “marital assets and liabilities” or marital property includes:
- Interspousal gifts (i.e., from one spouse to the other) during the marriage
- All vested and nonvested benefits, rights, and funds gathered during the marriage in retirement, pension, profit-sharing, annuity, deferred compensation, and insurance plans and programs
- Assets acquired and liabilities incurred during the marriage, individually by either spouse or jointly by them
- The paydown of principal of a note and mortgage secured by nonmarital real property
- Enhancement in value and appreciation of non-marital assets
Under Florida law, “nonmarital assets and liabilities” or separate property includes:
- Assets acquired and liabilities incurred by either spouse before the marriage
- Income derived from nonmarital assets during the marriage unless the income was treated, used, or relied upon by the parties as a marital asset
- Any liability incurred by forgery or unauthorized signature of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse
- Assets and liabilities excluded from marital assets and liabilities by valid written agreement of the parties
- Assets acquired separately by either party by non-interspousal gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and assets
In Florida, marital property is subject to equitable division which means that all property in a divorce case is divided fairly and reasonably. This means that property will not necessarily be split 50%-50%. Florida court will take several factors into consideration such as the age of the spouses, marriage length, amount of income and more.
As stated previously, pursuing a dissolution of marriage can present challenges for all couples, but high net spouses have specific complications that require the experience of a skilled family law attorney to fully address. Several challenges that a high net spouse can face include:
- Privacy: Parties involved in a high net divorce in Florida value discretion and privacy. However, spouses that are famous may have a difficult time going separate ways with as little publicity as possible.
- Time-consuming: High net divorces can usually take longer to resolve due to the amount and type of property that must be evaluated.
- Costly: Both parties in a high net divorce require skilled and practiced family law attorneys that have experience in handling high net divorce cases before. This means the cost of resolving these issues through legal representation may be higher.
During a high net divorce, a spouse may try to hide assets from the other spouse. This often occurs because Florida law requires a split of marital property. There’s a chance one party can get away with hiding assets to prevent them from being included in equitable distribution. However, by hiding assets, they are taking a huge risk.
In Florida, any divorce couple filing for a divorce must provide tax returns, exchange bank account statements, and paystubs, which are all a part of complying with a mandatory disclosure. A mandatory disclosure required by the State can be beneficial in discovering hidden assets.
Alimony, which is often referred to as spousal support or spousal maintenance, is evaluated by the Florida court. Per Florida Statutes 61.08, the judge will evaluate several aspects of the marriage to assign the type and duration of alimony including, but not limited to:
- The length and duration of the marriage
- Any evidence of infidelity taking place during the marriage
- The couple’s established standard of living
- Each individual’s tax status in consideration of potential alimony payments
- The age and the physical and emotional condition of each party.
- The physical and emotional character of both spouses
- Each individual’s education, career skills and general employability
- Each individual’s previous or potential earning capacity
- The couple’s contribution to marriage which includes homemaking and childcare, education and career-building support
- Any responsibility either spouse holds to minor children within the marriage
- The compiled marital and nonmarital assets or property of each spouse
Florida Statutes: Asset Distribution - Access the Florida Statutes website to read section 61.075 which discusses equitable distribution of marital assets and liabilities in a divorce. Learn what is categorized as a marital asset vs nonmarital asset. You can also see a list of factors Florida judges must consider before dividing marital property.
Centers for Disease and Control: Marriage and Divorce – Access the official website for the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC) to statistics for marriage and divorce. The site offers specific date such as the number of divorces in the US, divorce rate, number of marriages and marriage rate.
Fort Lauderdale High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer, FL
If you and your spouse are pursuing a divorce and have a high number of expensive assets together, you may have various questions moving forward. Not only can an experienced attorney provide you with answers, but they can also provide you with quality legal representation. At Bacchus Law Firm, our Fort Lauderdale high net divorce attorneys have practiced family law for years. We can fight for your rights.
With our office located at 401 E. Las Olas Blvd. in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, just minutes from the Broward County Central Courthouse, Bacchus Law Firm serves clients in West Palm Beach, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, East Naples, and LaBelle, Florida. Call (954) 500-5555 to schedule a free consultation today and learn more information about high net divorces.