Divorce is inherently stressful, even if it was the best move for everyone concerned. You and your spouse have to divide marital property, protect your separate assets, decide if support is payable and if so, how much.
It is a process that gets especially complicated for couples with high net worth. With significant real estate holdings and larger financial portfolios to assess and divide fairly, these divorces can take longer than regular ones. However, there are steps you can take to financially prepare and make the process more efficient.
1. Gather all relevant documentation
As soon as you know that divorce is imminent, collect all bank statements, credit card bills, tax returns, loan documents, insurance policies, and documents related to all property holdings. Separate your own property from information about assets you share with your spouse, such as jointly held bank accounts, credit cards, and homes or businesses that were acquired and maintained with marital funds.
2. Review the tax implications for both spouses
There are ways to minimize the tax effect of divorce on both parties. If alimony and child support are awarded, they can be structured in a way that gives you and your spouse a tax advantage. It can also make a difference if the divorce is finalized in the current year or the next one. Even retirement benefits can be divided to reduce your respective tax liabilities.
3. Hire a forensic accountant
If your financial holdings are especially complex or you’re concerned that your spouse may be concealing marital assets, a forensic accountant can untangle everything and compile a comprehensive report on all financial activities. If there is evidence that marital funds have been squandered or hidden, a judge may award you a bigger share of the marital estate to compensate.
4. Refrain from transferring money or assets
When you inventory your assets, you may be tempted to give away some items, such as that old luxury car that hasn’t left the garage in years or the painting that you hate but your sister always liked. Transferring ownership of assets during divorce is always regarded with suspicion even if your intentions are honest, so either wait until the divorce is concluded or consult your attorney first.
5. Hire an experienced divorce attorney
Because high net-worth divorces can be so complicated, be sure to hire a Florida divorce attorney with extensive experience in this particular area. Your attorney can advise you on how asset division may affect your tax situation, help ensure that all support awards are fair, and make sure that you leave the marriage with everything you need to build a new life with a lifestyle comparable to the one you enjoyed.
If you are preparing for a Florida divorce, reach out to Jarbath Pena Law Group today for a consultation. We will offer you knowledgeable and comprehensive family law representation that will strive to address your unique needs and allow you to maintain your lifestyle after the divorce. We treat all of our clients like family, and are completely invested in your future success. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us.