Going through a divorce is never easy. However, it often becomes much more complex and difficult when the couple has a high net worth. A high net worth divorce is usually complicated because the parties may have many investments and other assets that need to be accounted for and possibly divided in the divorce process. In Florida, assets that the couple has accumulated during the marriage are generally considered marital property and, as such, must be distributed equitably between both people.
Married couples with a high net worth often have a large number of assets. Some of the most common assets include:
- Bank accounts;
- Money market accounts;
- Stocks and bonds;
- Marital home;
- Vacation property;
- Artwork; and
It is important to create a complete list of all assets that are owned together. In general, the value of the assets at the time the couple separates or when one of the party’s files for divorce may be used to determine value. In these types of complex cases it may be necessary to get appraisals completed. This is particularly helpful when the current value of an item is not known. For example, a work of art may need to be appraised to determine the current market price.
Finding Hidden Assets
Those involved in complicated divorces with a large number of assets may need help making sure that they are all uncovered. In some cases one spouse may have a hidden account or property that has not been disclosed to the other person. A specialist may be needed to assist in locating all assets of the couple, regardless of where they are located. It is important to realize that you should not hide assets as you begin the divorce process. These issues will likely surface and the situation could backfire. Always discuss your financial decisions with your attorney immediately in order to protect yourself and your assets.
There are few items that may not be considered marital assets. Anything that you owned prior to the marriage may be considered your property alone. Gifts that you received during the marriage may be yours to keep and are probably not considered marital property. The same goes for any inheritances that you received during the marriage. However, if you do have an asset that was acquired prior to marriage, as well as gifts and inheritances during marriage, the asset will stay non-marital if it is not comingled with your spouse. For example, the asset would be considered comingled if you put your wife or husband’s name on a non-marital bank account or his or her name on a deed for non-marital real property. Otherwise, money and assets that were obtained while you were married generally belong to both spouses, regardless of which person actually earned them. If you have questions about marital assets your attorney will be happy to review the situation and help answer them for you.
Divorce Settlement Terms
Divorce requires both parties to try to resolve and agree on the major settlement terms. These include issues of distribution of assets and allocation of debts, alimony, child support, and custody. When couples have been together a long time or have a high net worth they are likely to have quite a complicated situation. Even so, these are decisions that must be made. The best resolutions are those that are made with assistance from a qualified divorce attorney. A skilled lawyer will guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected so you achieve a fair settlement. To learn more about high net worth divorce contact the Tampa divorce attorneys and family law lawyers at All Family Law Group, P.A. in Tampa Bay at 813-816-2232 for a consultation at no charge or email us.
By Lynette Silon-Laguna Google+