A high-asset divorce involves a significant amount of money, property, and complex business interests, and dividing these assets between two separating spouses can be especially challenging. Rather than simply selling their property and splitting the proceeds, high net-worth spouses may need to consider creative ways to liquidate their assets, particularly if they want to avoid significant tax consequences.
If you are facing a divorce in Palm Beach County, and you and your spouse have accumulated substantial assets during your marriage, you should engage with an attorney who has experience with high-asset cases. A West Palm Beach high-asset divorce lawyer could help you identify and correctly value your complex marital assets and ensure that you receive an equitable share.
High-Asset Divorces in Palm Beach County
Some marital assets are relatively easy to identify, such as homes, bank accounts, and vehicles. However, in a high-value case, the couple may have acquired more complicated property interests, including:
- Deferred compensation
- Stock options
- Real estate partnerships and investment trusts
- Intellectual property including patents and trademarks
- Cyber currency
- Rare collections including art, wine, antiques, and vehicles
A high-asset divorce attorney could determine a spouse’s ownership over a piece of property and make recommendations as to how to sell or divide it in the divorce.
Determining Marital Property
According to Florida Statutes Title VI §61.075, Florida is an equitable distribution state. A judge must consider certain factors and divide the property in a fair and balanced way, which makes it essential to determine what property is subject to the court’s consideration.
Marital property in Florida generally includes any assets acquired by the couple during their marriage, regardless of whose name is on the deed or title. Determining marital property in a high-asset divorce can be challenging when the property interests are complex, such as when a couple has partial ownership in a business or a certain number of real estate investment trust shares. A high-asset divorce lawyer in the area could help distinguish marital property from personal assets.
Special Considerations for High Net-Worth Spouses in a Divorce
Certain property interests in these kinds of divorce cases are unique and require specific considerations when determining how to divide them.
While it can be reasonably straightforward to determine the value of a home or a car, valuing assets like businesses, antique collections, and patents can be difficult.
A West Palm Beach high-asset divorce attorney could maintain professional relationships with qualified experts, such as financial advisors, business managers, and appraisers and work with them to accurately value a couple’s valuable assets.
Expert advice may also be beneficial when considering the possible tax consequences of selling or transferring complex assets in Palm Beach County. For example, because real estate holdings generate different types of cash flow, the income that a couple receives from these investments may fall into varying tax brackets. A skilled local attorney could consult with an accountant and recommend liquidation strategies that minimize excessive federal and state taxes.
Couples with substantial wealth may be concerned about disclosing their private information, like tax returns and financial statements, in a public courtroom. An attorney with high-asset divorce experience could request that a court seal these records to prevent disclosure. Spouses may also sign a confidentiality agreement that identifies information which may not be released to anyone other than those directly involved in the divorce.
Consult A High-Asset Divorce Attorney in Palm Beach County
In some divorces, the best course of action may be to sell a piece of property and divide the proceeds between the spouses. However, this may not be the case in a high-asset divorce where the sale of certain property could trigger substantial tax consequences or reduce the asset’s value.
Our firm’s attorneys understand the difficulty of identifying and valuing unique assets, managing the tax consequences of property sales or transfers, and protecting the privacy of a high net-worth couple’s financial records. A West Palm Beach high-asset divorce lawyer could work with experts to devise legal strategies that preserve your valuable interests. Call our firm today to set up a consultation.