Special Considerations in High Net Worth Divorces

One of the most contentious issues that comes up in divorce is property division. There are not only many strong emotions involved, but there is also the financial well-being of the parties that is at play. How property is divided can have a serious impact on finances for the indefinite future. In high net worth divorces, there is even more on the line. These types of divorces involve high stakes because there is so much more value and property to divide among the parties. There are many special considerations to take into account if you are entering into a high-net-worth divorce situation.

What Is a High Net Worth Divorce?

If you are considering divorce and you and your spouse have a substantial amount of assets, you need to prepare yourself for the unique complexities involved in high net worth divorces. This kind of divorce can take an extended period of time to resolve because of the unique complexities involved. The divorce may take months or even years to resolve completely. There may need to be temporary orders issued for things like spousal support, temporary living situations, and child custody arrangements while divorce proceedings are in the works. Be prepared for things to take a substantially longer amount of time in a high net worth divorce that in another kind of divorce. The upside of the potentially extended amount of time high net worth divorces can take, however, is that you may be able to use it as an incentive to spur negotiations along. The possibility of shortening the length of the proceedings may encourage the parties to try and reach an agreement on their own.

There are a number of reasons high net worth divorces can take so long to wrap up. First, all of the marital assets must be identified. This means that out of all the assets owned by the parties, it needs to be determined which assets will be considered marital and which will be considered separate. Separate assets will remain under the ownership of the respective spouse and marital property will be subject to division. This means the characterization of property is a critical juncture in divorce proceedings and may prove to be very contentious as each party may fight for property to be left out of the marital property category. Additionally, there is often a prenuptial agreement that may affect property rights in divorce.

Complex divorces also often involve complex asset issues. The parties may own several pieces of real property. There may be even business interests at play. Business interests must be carefully addressed as it can affect the well-being of the business itself. Business interests must also be properly valued. Other assets may also require special and expert valuation because of their unique nature. A business expert may need to be brought in to properly value a business by reviewing business records. Investment and other financial accounts may need to be valued by an expert as well.

There are also special tax issues that must be taken into consideration. Division of business interests and things like distribution of retirement benefits and spousal support may also trigger special tax considerations. It is also important to be aware that hiding assets may also be going on in a high net worth divorce. There are a lot of moving assets at play in this kind of divorce and sometimes, in violation of the law, a party may attempt to hide assets so that they will not be subject to division. In this type of case, forensic accounting may be necessary to try and uncover any hidden assets.

Fighting for Your Best Interests in a High Net Worth Divorce

There is a lot at stake in high net worth divorces. You need an advocate by your side that is ready to fight for you and stand up for your best interests. The dedicated divorce attorneys at the Orlando Family Team are here to do just that. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.