In a high-asset divorce, equal and equitable become unrelated words because of all the properties in jeopardy. The term “equal” suggests dividing assets into the same amount with respect to their financial worth. In an equitable distribution state like Florida, the main target is a just and fair distribution of assets, which is not to say the marital properties will be divided equally.
Equitable distribution in a high-asset divorce
High-net-worth individuals own various properties, businesses, stock and real estate, among other things. It is not always fair to divide these equally because one spouse could have worked harder while the other spouse decided to depend on them. Similarly, the other spouse also may not have had a choice. The higher net worth spouse may have insisted that the other spouse take on a role as a homemaker so the former could focus on the growth of their business.
Therefore, even though the court begins with a principle of equality, it also considers these factors to make sure the distribution is equitable:
- How much does each spouse contribute to the marriage?
- What are the economic circumstances of each spouse?
- How long was the duration of the marriage?
- Did one spouse give up their personal career for the betterment of the marriage?
- Did one spouse discontinue their education for the best interests of the marriage?
- Does a spouse desire to keep a particular asset, investment or business without any contention from the other spouse?
- What are the contributions of each spouse to the purchase, improvement, and production of marital and nonmarital assets?
- Who will get the marital home and why?
- Are any of the spouses acting out of bad faith or trying to make a claim to any of the assets because they have bad intentions for it?
High-asset divorces come with a lot of baggage. It is so difficult to distribute these between spouses when you put the procurement of these assets into context. It can take years to resolve in court.
Keeping the divorce private
As a high-net-worth individual, you would want to keep all your assets and liabilities out of the public eye. A skilled divorce attorney can privately review all the properties and all the accumulated financial accounts to ensure both parties are satisfied. You do not need to fight in court over who gets what.