Yaffa Family Law Group
By: Doreen Yaffa

High Net Worth Divorce 101


High Net Worth Divorce 101

Do you think your divorce is a high net worth case? The team of legal experts at Yaffa Family Law Group has handled these types of divorces for 27 years. We work diligently to pursue the best possible outcome under these unique circumstances, keeping you fully informed of your rights and option, every step of the way. Not all high net worth divorces are celebrities but here, in South Florida, these cases exist. Read along to learn more about these types of cases.

What is considered a high net worth divorce?

There is no magic number or value of a high net worth divorce but typically these are the couples that have substantial assets that they have acquired during the marriage such as stocks, businesses, retirement accounts, cars, homes, unique assets like wines, artwork, and jewelry, and of course, cash.

What is different about a high net worth divorce compared to a typical divorce?

The same rules and statutes that apply to a typical divorce will apply to a high net worth divorce meaning that the Court will still need to determine which assets are “marital” and “nonmarital” and distribute the marital assets equitably. However, there may be some additional professionals needed in order for your divorce to run as smoothly and quickly as possible because of the complexity and extent of the assets.

What other professionals will be involved in the divorce besides my attorney?

Typically, because of the numerous assets involved in a high net worth divorce, it is best to hire a forensic accountant. Forensic accountants are financial professionals skilled in investigative work who can comb through years of transactional records to help find assets that your spouse may be hiding or even help determine the tax consequences of various assets being distributed in the divorce. A forensic accountant will help the process of a high net worth divorce run smoothly and can also help to value some of the unique assets such as jewelry and artwork.

Oftentimes, real or personal property appraisers will also be involved in a high net worth divorce including business evaluators, real estate appraisers, or even a boat surveyor. These appraisers will be brought in to help determine the value of the asset in question and each spouse’s interest in the same.

What about my children?

As mentioned above, the same statutes and rules that apply to a typical divorce also apply to a high net worth divorce and the same holds true for child-related matters. Child support is based upon income and the amount of time each parent will spend with the children. Furthermore, a Court will determine any timesharing arrangement based upon the best interest of the children. Typically, if feasible and most importantly, if, in the best interest of the children, the Court will put a 50/50 timesharing schedule in place where both parents spend an equal amount of time with the children. However, even if you and your spouse end up with a 50/50 timesharing arrangement, if one of you is the ‘breadwinner’ the breadwinner will still end up paying child support.