Fighting to Protect Your Assets
Divorce can be complicated and potentially expensive, but the stakes are even higher in high net worth divorces. Unless you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage, or a postnuptial agreement afterward, you could lose a large chunk of your assets to your soon-to-be-ex if you do not have skilled representation at your side.
How to Protect Your Assets in a High Net Worth Divorce
If you are in the midst of a high net worth divorce and are concerned about retaining losing too much your assets, there are ways to secure a more favorable outcome.
- Seek the help of valuation specialists: One of the biggest mistakes a person can make in a high net worth divorce is failing to accurately value a business, practice, or real estate before embarking on settlement negotiations. Never enter negotiations without knowing what your assets are worth. Without proper evaluation, your spouse might end up with some of the more valuable possessions while you are stuck with a car and a couch.
- Hire a forensic accountant: Forensic accountants are trained to pinpoint the source of a shared bank account’s funds. Given that spouses often combine funds and assets, it sometimes makes it difficult to figure out what belongs to whom. A forensic accountant will be able to make this distinction by accurately tracing funds and assets.
- Reduce tax liability: Transferring assets in a high net worth divorce often leads to significant tax consequences. To avoid this, your accountant and divorce attorney should collaborate to craft an asset division plan that minimizes your tax liability as much as possible.
- Understand possible alimony obligations: If you are the primary breadwinner in your household, or earn significantly more than your spouse, you might have to financially support your spouse. The duration of this support depends on how long the marriage lasted, and each of your contributions to the marriage. Spousal support payments are taxed, so factor this into your negotiations to work toward an agreement that both you and your ex can move forward with.
- Keep track of marital spending sprees: When one spouse earns significantly less than the other, it is not uncommon for that spouse to begin withdrawing large sums of cash, or going off on spending sprees, before the divorce is finalized. If your spouse commits such acts, inform your attorney. These expenses may count toward your spouse’s final settlement.
- Always evaluate your prenuptial or postnuptial agreements: If you do happen to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, be sure to reevaluate it every couple of years. The circumstances of a marriage often change and evaluating it during times of harmony can insure that each partner’s assets are protected in the event of a divorce.
Divorce and Family Law for Women in Jacksonville
At Florida Women’s Law Group, we understand that divorce can be a difficult process and even more so in cases involving high net worth. Our Jacksonville divorce attorneys are here to offer compassionate, empathetic, and effective counsel to women going through personal, financial, and legal difficulties in family courts. With our specialized approach, we help pave the way for the happy future you deserve as you begin a new chapter in life.
Our Jacksonville divorce firm has over 40 years of combined experience and is Northeast Florida’s only family law firm committed to helping women. No matter what legal challenges you are facing in divorce and family law, we have the experience, resources, and dedication to help you.