Things to Consider When Filing for Divorce with High Assets

Petition for Divorce

No two divorces are identical, each comes with their own set of difficulties and unique circumstances. A marriage where the couple acquired a large number of assets is a case that will prove to be time consuming and difficult if you do not employ the proper attorney to help you. When going through a divorce with a large amount of assets, it is imperative to seek assistance from your Orlando Divorce Attorney, who can walk you through this complicated process and craft a divorce settlement that will protect your finances, as well as your rights, as you complete the divorce.

During the time of your marriage, if you have acquired a large amount of assets the first crucial step is to locate and identify these assets. This formal document filed with the court that discloses all assets, martial and nonmartial, between the parties is known as the Financial Affidavit. In this document, you will list every asset and liability acquired prior to and during the marriage to your spouse. Florida courts require full and honest financial disclosure in this document and failure to do so could result in severe legal penalties. This document is a major component that the court uses to determine a fair and equitable distribution of assets, as it gives a full and complete picture of all the items necessary to distribute. However, with a large number of assets it may be difficult locate each asset and even more difficult if a spouse is attempting to hide certain assets. In many high asset divorce cases, a forensic accountant may need to be employed to assist in the identification of each asset. A forensic accountant will be able to carefully comb through financial documents to find any discrepancies, fraud, or attempts of concealment. Your Orlando Divorce Attorney can take legal action to force full disclosures from your spouse as well as making the court aware of your suspicions and any proof that you may have of the missing assets.

The next key component in a high asset divorce case is proper valuation of the property. Without a proper and accurate evaluation of the property there could be a significant discrepancy in an equitable distribution award, with large amounts of money left on the table. Items such as antiques, rare artwork, collectibles, cars, stocks and homes can differ in value on a daily basis. With such variation, one spouse could value a piece at a much higher rate than the other. Therefore, many times real and personal property appraisers are employed to offer the court an accurate value for each item in dispute. An appraiser will take into account many different factors surrounding the exact property including the realm it is in, comparing similar art pieces or homes to the one in question. They make an in depth determination of these articles in order to provide an educated estimate as to the value. However, this is not an exact science and numbers do alter depending on the appraiser.

In a divorce containing high valued assets, it is important to note that these assets might not just affect the equitable distribution process, but may interfere with an alimony award. If you and your spouse have significantly different income levels, alimony is likely an area of contention in your case. When awarding alimony, the court will take into account the assets of the parties. An alimony award may be significantly increased or decreased based upon proper valuation and equitable distribution of these high valued assets. Therefore, it is imperative to discuss these assets with your Orlando Divorce Attorney and form a proper plan for valuation and identification that will ensure your rights and your best interests are taken into consideration.

Large value assets can come in many different forms, including: investment holdings, business interests, multiple real estate properties, collectible items, artwork, or jewelry. Dividing this type of complex property can be challenging. However, when you utilize the knowledge and expertise of your Orlando Divorce Attorney, it is possible to negotiate a fair settlement. When filing for divorce, contact your Orlando Divorce Attorney, who has experience handling complex high asset divorce cases within the state of Florida.

Speaking to an attorney at our Orlando office is free of charge, and we accept calls 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact us at 407-512-0887 or complete an online contact form to get in touch with a member of our team today.

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