Although a quick divorce may sound appealing, it is important not to rush through the process. This advice especially pertains to high-asset divorces, where complex marital assets may need to be valued and divided. A better analogy would be to approach a divorce like the dissolution of a business.
The process starts with an inventory of assets comprising the marital estate. Assets owned before the marriage are generally excluded from that definition, as are assets identified by a valid prenuptial agreement. If the marriage contributed to the value of a non-marital asset, however, the other spouse may be entitled to a portion. This principle might apply to an asset like a previously owned small business, where both spouses may have enhanced its value during their marriage.
A thorough inventory will also identify assets that are commonly overlooked in the marital estate, such as retirement accounts. A law that focuses on complex and high-asset divorces, like ours, can provide an experienced eye to oversee this process.
Since Florida is an equitable distribution state, property does not have to be divided in divorce in an exact 50-50 split. Yet what a divorce court might deem to be fair under the circumstances is highly case-specific. This is another reason why an individual needs an attorney to advocate for his or her interests in a divorce.
Finally, it is important to remember that a divorce does not necessarily translate into litigation. Indeed, many of our law firm’s clients have been concerned about their financial privacy. Whereas filings in a divorce typically become part of the record, alternative dispute resolution options, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, can produce settlement agreements after confidential negotiations. An attorney can be present during those discussions, ensuring that his or her client’s interests are being protected.
Source: CNN, ” Top 10 Mistakes in High Net Worth Divorces ,” Joey Battah, Jan. 10, 2014