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High-Asset Divorce: The Million-Dollar Split

In family law, few cases are as intricate and emotionally charged as high-asset divorces. What is a high-asset divorce? Traditionally, it has been defined as divorcing couples with more than one million dollars in assets. Those with significant wealth have unique challenges and distinctive hurdles that demand the attention of experienced family law attorneys.

 Our lawyers at Doran, Sims, Wolfe, & Yoon have over 140 years of collective legal experience. We know how to value complex assets, protect privacy, and address the emotional and financial aspects of divorce with a delicate touch and a strategic approach. We can help you navigate this complex terrain with confidence as we secure your financial future.

Valuing Complex Assets

The proper valuation of assets in a divorce case ensures that all parties are treated equitably. Dividing property can be challenging in high-net-worth divorces, as couples accumulate significant assets such as real estate holdings, businesses, investment portfolios, intellectual property, professional practices, retirement funds, and more. Although separating marital versus non-marital property is relatively easy, it is not that straightforward when assets are commingled. 

Tax Implications and Asset Protection

The division of assets can have significant tax consequences in high-net-worth divorces. It is necessary to structure settlements in a manner that minimizes tax liabilities. Examples of tax challenges are the liquidation of assets triggering capital gains liabilities, separately filing tax returns that change your eligibility for tax exemptions, and the tax implications of dividing pensions or other retirement benefits in your plan.

Spousal Support and Lifestyle Maintenance

Florida’s new alimony reform went into effect July 1, 2023. The biggest change is that there is no longer permanent alimony, and marriages under three (3) years do not qualify for alimony. Alimony is designed to help the ex-spouse become financially independent. When a couple cannot agree on alimony, they relinquish control of the outcome, which can now be calculated based on the spouse’s need for it. 

The new law provides four types of alimony, 

  • Temporary: For couples separated, not yet divorced 
  • Bridge-the-gap: Not to exceed two (2) years. This is intended to aid the ex-spouse in making the transition to being single and financially independent. 
  • Rehabilitative alimony: Not to exceed five (5) years. Payments are designed to help ex-spouses learn or regain skills to become financially independent. 
  • Durational alimony: Calculated on the duration of marriage and awarded for a set amount of time;
    • Short: 3-10 years, may not exceed 50% of the length of the marriage 
    • Moderate: 10-20 years, may not exceed 60% of the length of the marriage
    • Long-term: 20+ years, may not exceed 75% of the length of the marriage 

Hidden Assets

In high-asset divorce, it is not unusual for one party to conceal assets from the other party to avoid them being included in the property division. This illegal and unethical practice can take various forms to prevent the equitable distribution of marital property. Working with an attorney who can uncover hidden assets through various methods is essential.

 Examples of hidden assets are:

  • Undisclosed bank accounts
  • Cryptocurrency
  • Underreporting income
  • Transferring assets
  • Overpaying debts
  • Investment manipulation
  • Offshore trusts and shell companies
  • Deferred compensation and stock options
  • Giving money to friends and family
  • Hiding property
  • Opening new accounts in another’s name
  • Inflating debt

Peace of Mind with Doran, Sims, Wolfe, & Yoon on Your Side

Choosing the right high-asset divorce law firm is a critical decision. Our attorneys at Doran, Sims, Wolfe & Yoon provide guidance and support through your divorce’s emotional and financial aspects. We deeply understand the legal nuances of divorce, property division, spousal support, and child custody issues. 

Martindale Hubbell has rated Doran, Sims, Wolfe & Yoon AV Preeminent. This certification is the highest peer rating in the legal profession for professional excellence, legal knowledge, communication skills, and ethical standards. Rest assured, your best interests will always be our top priority throughout the divorce process. 

Contact Doran, Sims, Wolfe & Yoon, Attorneys at Law at 386-253-1111 to schedule a confidential appointment at our Daytona Beach, Florida office. Our commitment to you is unwavering, and our focus is on your well-being as you embark on a new chapter of your life.