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When financial stakes are high in divorce, legal support crucial

While every divorce case can be complicated, high-asset divorces can be particularly complex. This is because there can be huge sums of money, sophisticated investment portfolios and multiple properties that can be eligible for distribution. When there is a significant amount of money involved, an otherwise amicable divorce can get quite contentious.

People generally prefer an amicable divorce to a lengthy, bitter courtroom battle, but it isn’t always possible when divorcing spouses are trying to get as much money as they believe they deserve and don’t see eye-to-eye on who deserves what. This is likely something that Elon Musk and his soon-to-be ex-wife are trying to avoid. The two recently announced they have filed for divorce.

Musk is a well-known billionaire who has co-founded and started numerous companies and has invested in some of the most talked-about technology. In 2010, Musk was already an established businessman when he also married Talulah Riley but had yet to make his first billion.

Despite his existing financial resources, Musk and Riley decided against a prenuptial agreement. This means that all marital assets could be divided between the spouses. Not surprisingly, Riley is seeking spousal support in this divorce.

At this point, reports indicate that the divorce is amicable and the two intend to remain friends. However, there is the potential that things could take a turn if problems arise with the process of distributing assets.

For instance, Musk’s earnings from various investments over the years could be considered separate property, which would make them ineligible for distribution. This would have a significant difference on the money that Riley is awarded in a settlement.

While it is certainly a good thing when two people try to keep a divorce amicable, there are situations that are complicated and frustrating which can make it very difficult to work toward a peaceful resolution. However, with legal support and guidance, it can be possible to pursue the desired outcome while also working to avoid costly disputes.

Source: Fox News, “Elon Musk’s wife files to divorce billionaire,” March 22, 2016

3 things you should know about alimony in Florida

Cutting ties with an ex after divorce can be much more complicated than you may realize. This can be especially true when it comes to money.

After your divorce, you can still have several financial ties linking you to your ex, particularly when there are significant assets to consider. In some cases, you are linked by property you are trying to sell; in other cases, you are linked by monthly child support payments. While these may seem reasonable or simply inevitable, there are other links that can be much more difficult to accept. Spousal support is one such link.

Spousal support is often a contentious issue. People ordered to pay it often feel it’s unnecessary or unfair; recipients can feel like it’s not enough. These two wildly different perspectives can make the fighting between spouses even worse than it already may be.

However, you should understand that orders for alimony are not arbitrary, even though it may seem like it. In fact, the courts will only order alimony payments if they can determine there is an actual need for the support and that the person ordered to pay actually has the ability to do so.

After considering several factors, the courts will then assess the type of alimony that may be ordered. In some cases, alimony is only ordered for a brief period of time; in other cases, an order will be in place until a specific event — including death — occurs. In other words, the payments may be temporary or permanent.

There are three things we hope readers take away from this post:

  1. Spousal support is not ordered in every case.
  2. If ordered, alimony amounts should be reasonable and reflective of the individual circumstances.
  3. The type and duration of alimony that is ordered varies and depends on the nature of support needed.

With all this in mind, you should have a basic understanding of what you might be able to expect in terms of spousal support in your own divorce. However, for more details and an examination of your specific situation, it can be best to discuss alimony with your attorney.

Complex assets can complicate legal matters during divorce

Every divorce has the potential to be complicated for those who are involved. For some, the complications are primarily emotional; for others, the complications center around co-parenting plans. But if you and your spouse have significant assets the complications that lay ahead will likely be largely financial.

Financial challenges can be particularly frustrating if you don’t have a financial background or a thorough understanding of all the economic aspects of your marital estate. The fact is, when it comes to the dollars and cents of a high-asset divorce, you will likely benefit from the help of others.

A financial planner can be a critical part of your team during a divorce. Financial planners can help you understand the financial implications of your divorce and help you prepare the necessary financial documentation.

A business valuation professional can also provide much needed help during a high-asset divorce. Those who are trained in this area can help establish the fair-market value of a business. In many cases, husbands and wives will value a business very differently based on their own financial interests. Having a third party come in and perform an assessment can help establish a level playing field.

Finally, your attorney can help you understand your rights and options when it comes to how marital debts and assets should be divided. Florida property division laws are clear but they can be confusing, and people don’t always understand their options when it comes to other financial matters like alimony and child support.

Our hope is that you understand you do not have to go through this difficult and complicated process alone. There are many resources available to help you manage the complex issues of your divorce, including our law firm which is experienced in high-asset divorces. We are positioned to help you protect yourself, your assets and your financial future. Please visit our website for more information on our background with these types of divorces.

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