Unique Challenges in a High Net Worth Divorce
Divorce is not easy, which is one of the reasons why it’s regarded as one of life’s biggest stressors. When your divorce falls into the high net worth category, it introduces special complications that don’t apply to couples in lower income brackets.
These challenges are mostly related to asset division, as high net worth couples usually have multiple income streams in addition to family businesses and extensive real estate holdings. Child support is also calculated differently when your household income exceeds $10,000 per month.
At the Law Office of Sheena Benjamin-Wise, P.A., we understand how the stresses of divorce can be compounded by income levels and the size of the marital estate. In this blog, we’ll explain what to expect and how we can protect your rights if problems arise.
You may have to divide a business
If you or your spouse own a business, any increase in its value during the marriage is considered marital property unless a fairly-constructed prenuptial agreement states otherwise. In most cases, the court will award the business to the spouse who founded it and award marital property of equal value to the other spouse, but there are exceptions.
We will work with you to make sure that your business assets are protected or, if you are not the owner, that you receive marital assets of comparable value. If necessary, we will work with appraisers or business valuation experts to ensure equitable division of each party’s interests in the company.
Hidden assets may be an issue
Many people undergoing a high net worth divorce worry about their spouse trying to hide assets, especially if that spouse was solely responsible for managing finances. Common strategies include:
- Moving money into an account owned by a friend or family member
- Overpaying income taxes and collecting a big refund after the divorce
- Waiting until after the divorce to collect a bonus or accept a promotion
If you suspect that your spouse may try to deprive you of your fair share of the marital estate, talk to us. We will take measures that include discovery, depositions, or hiring a forensic accountant who can identify any financial irregularities.
Child support is different in a high net worth divorce
Florida uses an income shares model to calculate child support. The court will estimate how much money you would have spent to support your children if you had remained together and assign each parent with a percentage based on their income.
However, if your combined income exceeds $10,000 per month, the amount past this threshold is multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children before being added to the base amount. We will make sure that the amount you are ordered to pay meets your children’s needs without jeopardizing your financial situation.
As a high net worth individual, you may encounter divorce issues that don’t affect less wealthy couples. At the Law Office of Sheena Benjamin-Wise, P.A., we understand these challenges and want you to know that you are not alone. Our goal will be to achieve an equitable outcome that leaves you ready for the next chapter in your life. For more information, please contact us at wiselawoffice.com.