Having substantial wealth can make divorce more complicated. You need an attorney with sophisticated financial and business knowledge to ensure your divorce produces a fair result.
If you and your spouse are considering divorce and have a high net worth, speak with a Coconut Grove high-asset divorce lawyer. Getting help from a trusted divorce attorney before you begin can put you in a better position.
Property Division in a High-Asset Divorce
Florida Statutes § 61.075 describes how the courts handle property division in a divorce. After setting aside the spouses’ personal property, the court divides the marital property between the spouses, starting with the premise that the division should be equal unless other factors make an unequal division fairer.
The law lists numerous factors a Judge can consider when deciding whether an equal split is fair. Among them are the length of the marriage, each spouse’s monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage, whether either spouse put a career on hold to raise children, or sacrificed education or a career to support the other’s business. The court also can consider whether it is best to leave an interest in a business or professional practice with one spouse.
When the couple has a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, a court will honor it. However, challenges to prenuptial agreements are common in high-asset divorces. Anyone who signed a prenup should review it with their Coconut Grove high-asset divorce attorney to determine whether it is vulnerable to a court challenge.
Children in Families With Significant Assets
When a divorcing couple has minor children, their welfare is a Judge’s primary concern. The law requires the Judge to prioritize the children’s best interests when deciding which parent they should live with most of the time, and how much time the non-residential parent should have with the children. If a parent has a demanding work or social schedule and the children might spend a lot of time being supervised by someone other than their parent, a Judge will factor that information into the decision.
Child support can be contentious in a high-asset divorce. An income-sharing formula determines a minimum child support amount in most divorces, but the formula may not be appropriate when the couple is wealthy. The formula is based on income and many couples’ wealth does not come from the kinds of income used in the formula.
In addition, Judges do not want a child’s lifestyle to change significantly just because their parents live apart. Although child support is supposed to cover necessities, child support for a couple with significant assets might also include private school tuition and tutors; music, dance, or other lessons; club memberships, private coaching, summer camp, travel, and other similar costs associated with maintaining the child’s standard of living. A Coconut Grove attorney could help a couple negotiate an appropriate arrangement during high-asset divorce negotiations.
Negotiation to Resolve a High Asset Divorce
No matter how bitter the feelings are between spouses, a litigated divorce causes unnecessary expense, stress, delay, and uncertainty. Processes like mediation, arbitration, and collaborative divorce usually produce better results and have less potential for long-term harm to the children than a litigated divorce. When spouses cannot communicate productively or safely with each other, a Coconut Grove attorney could negotiate with the other spouse’s legal representative to reach a high-asset divorce settlement.
A negotiated agreement allows both parties to control the outcome, rather than a Judge. Each spouse can work to obtain what is most important to them, recognizing they may have to compromise on other issues.
Spouses in a high-asset divorce can spend months fighting for access to financial information and then verifying it. These tasks must be accomplished before a couple can begin property division negotiations. Although a mediated or negotiated settlement agreement still requires the exchange and verification of financial information, the process moves far more quickly when the parties are not struggling over access to information and documents.
The other advantage of a mediated settlement is that it is confidential. Litigated divorces are public, and even when a Judge closes a courtroom—which does not often happen—much of the information the parties use to support their requests is public. Anyone whose wealth is known to the public and is concerned about their reputation should consider a negotiated divorce.
Discuss Your High-Asset Divorce with a Coconut Grove Attorney Today
Even the most good-natured high asset divorces are complex. It is critical to work with The Florida Probate & Family Law Firm, which understands the unique issues that arise when wealthy people divorce.
Trust a Coconut Grove high-asset divorce lawyer to manage your divorce while helping you attain your goals. Set up a free case evaluation today.