High-asset divorces usually involve more complicated property distributions and ownership of assets that are not typical (in other words, not just homes and cars) such as deferred comp, stock options, real estate partnerships, investment trusts, valuation and distribution of businesses, cyber currency, horses, art collections, etc. There are often revocable and irrevocable trusts involved.
Are These High-Asset Cases Generally Going To Be More Time-Intensive And Costly?
These cases do tend to be more time-intensive and more costly, which is why it’s important to hire an attorney who has experience in high-asset divorces, because there are many things that can be missed. You’ll want to question all of the financial disclosures, as well as know what all of the assets are before you sign any sort of settlement agreement.
How Can I Find Out What My Spouse Really Makes Or Is Really Worth?
There are several investigations that you can do. In all divorce cases, each party has to do what’s called mandatory disclosure. In addition to mandatory disclosure, we can send concentrated questions to the other side asking for disclosure of certain assets. Should they not disclose the assets, there are companies you can hire, as well. We often hire forensic accountants who can search out and determine the assets and where they’ve gone. A good forensic accountant can look at tax information and filings and determine where things have been sent and where the missing accounts have gone. I find that the forensic accountants are invaluable in this process.
If I Trust My Ex-Spouse, Is A Thorough Investigation Into Our Shared Net Worth Really Necessary?
In a divorce, you really need to take care of yourself. You can’t be trusting the other side. You should always question and review all financial disclosure to make sure that, under Florida law, you are getting exactly what you were entitled to. Usually, the assistance of a forensic accountant and an attorney experienced with high net worth divorces will get you a better settlement than you would have had without.
Are There Ways That Assets Get Hidden From The Other Spouse?
In cases where people own businesses, it’s very easy to retain earnings in the business. Some people are also efficient at hiding money in crypto currency or offshore. In anticipation of a divorce, there are several creative ways that people use for asset protection that we are all experienced in investigating in order to get you the best divorce settlement possible.
How Are Marital Assets Divided In A High-Asset Divorce?
Under Florida Statute 61.075, marital assets are divided equally. That’s not, however, as straightforward as it sounds. In a high-asset divorce in Florida, you’re dealing with specialized assets: you have revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts; you have businesses to value; you have deferred compensation and stock options; sometimes there are real estate partnerships, real estate investments, or even specialized collections such as artwork, collectibles, and historical collectibles. A lot of people now have money in cyber currency or invest in things such as specialized antique cars or even horses. Then, there are retirement assets. As you can see, there are many different things in high-asset divorces that have to be valued before we can look at that distribution scheme.
How Are Retirement Accounts Divided During A High-Asset Divorce?
Under Florida law, retirement assets (like any other asset acquired during the marriage) are usually divided equally, regardless of who contributed. But we first have to determine whether or not the retirement assets are marital, so we would look at contribution to retirement assets and any increase in value. A lot of retirement assets and the ERISA plans have to be divided by a qualified domestic relations order. In a high-asset divorce, you come into stock options and other assets that are vested and non-vested, which you have to investigate in order to determine how they would be divided or when they would be divided.
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