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Mark Abzug

What makes a high asset divorce different?

On Behalf of | Mar 31, 2022 | High Asset Divorce

To some extent, divorces in Florida work the same way no matter how much wealth a couple has between them.

Florida judges will enter orders to divide a couple’s marital property

Basically, unless the parties can agree, a judge will divide the couple’s property in what the law calls an equitable distribution. What this means is that a judge will divide all marital property in a way the judge deems fair.

There may be issues with respect to what is or is not martial property which the court can divide. The court may also have to decide how much each asset or debt is worth, and it will have to set out a plan for actually dividing the property. One spouse may argue that he or she deserves a larger share of the partial property.

Couples with a lot of wealth tend to have many different assets

The problem high asset couples in Broward County have is that they will often not have their wealth wrapped up in a wide variety of assets, that is, beyond a person’s house, retirement accounts and vehicles.

Wealthier couples may own multiple investment properties and have many different types of accounts. Moreover, wealthier couples have collections of furnishings, vehicles or even art that would require attention.

Couple of more modest means would also have to divide these items, of course, but they could be of little more than sentimental value.

It is also fairly common for couples with high net worth to have business interests, including an ownership stake in a professional practice or other small business.

Property in high asset divorces can be complicated to put a value on

Likewise, the assets couples with wealth tend to own tend to be more difficult to put a value on and divide. For a typical couple, for instance, the biggest question may be what to do about the family home or a 401(k) retirement account.

On the other hand, it will often require an appraiser or other financial expert, perhaps even a forensic accountant,  to determine the value for much of a high net worth couple’s property.

After all, many items, including certain business investments, collections and the like, are hard to put an exact value on easily since there is no well-established market for them. There also may be special legal issues involved with how a judge divides these assets.