High Net Worth Divorce

Divorce cases in Florida that involve individuals with high net worth often raise a number of issues related to property distribution. Divorcing spouses who cannot agree as to how property will be divided have to turn to courts to make that decision for them. Under Florida’s equitable distribution system, a judge must find a way to divide the property in a way that is equitable, or fair. That may or may not mean splitting it evenly among the parties. For spouses who own a business or have varied assets and sources of income, dividing property can be a difficult task. The good news is that spouses can decide for themselves how the property will be divided in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

To reach a final decision on asset division, the court first has to know what property the couple owns. That includes assessing the value of any business holdings, based on their fair market value. This is often a complicated process that requires the court to consider not only the worth of a business’ assets and expected future income, but also intangibles like “goodwill” that come from trademarks, business relationships, and organizational synergy. This evaluation often leads to a battle of experts, but it should ultimately be based on the price that the business would be expected to command on the open market.

Assets in High Net worth divorce

Having a clear understanding of each spouse’s assets and financial situation helps to determine that individual’s need for and ability to pay alimony or child support. While all assets should be on the table when spouses are discussing settlement of these issues, or when a court is resolving them, sometimes a person may be less than forthcoming during this process.

A “hidden asset” is one that is not readily identifiable in reviewing accounting records and financial statements, thanks to complicated maneuvers that may or may not be designed to conceal the asset from the other spouse or a divorce court. They are typically liquid, such as stocks, bonds, or bank accounts, and they may be obscured by transfer to a friend, associate, or offshore bank. These assets can often be located with the assistance of an experienced investigator.