Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, Jupiter and other areas of Palm Beach County are home to many high net worth couples whose children are grown and gone. In the past 30 years, the divorce rate for people age 50 and over has become the fastest growing rate among married couples.
An article from the Gilmer Mirror of Northeast Texas puts it into perspective saying, “Today, one in four divorces is an older couple; that’s double the rate of 1980.”
This fact complicates matters as couples who have been married many years often have accumulated more wealth. They may own or operate commercial property or a successful business, have stock options, retirement accounts or other financial assets. All these layers can bring fulfillment to life but can make dividing assets in a divorce a nightmare.
If you are facing a high net worth divorce in Florida, first things first, get help from a high net worth divorce attorney in Florida. This is not the time in your life to exercise your right to be a rugged individualist and do-it-yourself. Check into a variety of attorneys and find someone that fits your needs and is a match for you. “No two ultra-high net worth situations are exactly the same and one top-notch divorce attorney is not necessarily the best fit for all of our clients,” says Haitham “Hutch” Ashoo, CEO of Pillar Wealth Management.
Many couples married for 20 or more years, would never have considered talking to their fiancé prior to their marriage about a pre-nuptial agreement. But that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be worth discussing a post-nuptial one now. Ashoo says, “This contract is signed by both parties and accompanied by a full disclosure of all assets, income and debt of both parties, free from fraud and duress and entered into freely.”
If you are not quite ready to broach the subject with your spouse, you might try opening the lines of communication with some what if’s. “What if one of us should suddenly die? What if something should happen to one of the children? What if one of us were to become disabled?. . .What if we were to divorce?”
Having hard conversations now, before the relationship is in crisis, can help a family through challenges. “Talking about the hard things helps couples build trust,” says CPA Jim Kohles, chairman of RINA accountancy corporation. “Then, when they face a serious problem, they’re better equipped to resolve it.”
Finally, take into consideration tax implications of any decisions you make. Contacting a professional tax attorney can help guide your decisions as a family.
Divorce for high net worth couples in Florida brings with it many financial hurdles. Getting over them takes persistence and skill. Hiring a professional to help bring you to a settlement will get you better results than going it alone.