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High-Net Worth Divorce Attorneys

At Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law, we provide the personalized attention and attention to detail that individuals involved in high net worth divorces need to ensure their interests are protected. At Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law, our attorneys work with clients to create an individualized approach that defends their best interests and the interests of their children. If our clients are best served through taking the case to trial, we will litigate skillfully. If, however, we can save our clients time, money and hassle through settlement, we will pursue a private resolution outside of court. We provide thorough and accurate analysis of how the law applies to our client's cases and offer realistic expectations of possible outcomes. 

Florida law requires an equitable division but also states that in most cases equitable means equal. “Equitable distribution” refers to the way that spouses in Florida divide their property and debts in a divorce. While some states have community property rules requiring an exactly equal division of marital property and debts, most states require only an “equitable” or fair division.

Our lawyers are experienced in discovering and valuing the most complex types of assets, including:

·      Professional practice business interests and assets

·      Enhancement or appreciation in value of non-marital assets during the marriage due to the efforts of either party during the marriage or the spending of marital funds

·      Retirement accounts

·      Pension accounts

·      Investment assets

·      Family-owned business

·      Vested or non-vested stock options

·      Real estate

·      Art and other valuable collections

Specific factors affecting equitable distribution:

·        Duration of marriage

·        Intentional Dissipation of marital assets

·        Misconduct

·        Tax consequences

·        Contribution to the marriage

·        Contribution to other spouse-non-marital property

Marital property in Florida typically includes all assets and debts either spouse acquires during the marriage. It doesn’t matter if the property or debt is titled jointly or is only in one spouse’s name. Typically, debts, such as a mortgage, loans, taxes, and credit cards accumulated during the marriage, are all considered to be “marital liabilities” and must be divided between the parties so that each person receives the equitable value of the marital estate. As with assets, the court has the option of dividing debt unequally if this seems fair under all of the circumstances. For example, If one spouse spent large amounts of money, the court might assign the total amount of that debt to the spouse who has dissipated marital funds.

A court won’t divide up a home and award each spouse part of it, but might order the couple to sell it and divide the proceeds. If a marital home is the couple’s only major asset, a judge might also order the couple to wait until some future date to sell the home and divide the proceeds, and award one spouse a temporary right to live in the home. This is more typically requested when the couple has minor children still living in the home.

As opposed to marital property, separate, or “non-marital,” property is not subject to division in divorce. Property is separate if one spouse owned it before marriage or acquired it during marriage as a gift (not including gifts from the other spouse) or by inheritance. Separate property also includes:

·      Assets and debts a couple defines as separate property in a valid written agreement (a premarital agreement, for example)

·      Income from separate property, unless the spouses have treated the income as marital property, by “commingling”

·      Assets and liabilities acquired prior to the marriage

·      Gifts from parties outside the marriage acquired by one spouse that are not gifts from the other spouse

·      Inheritance during the marriage

·      Any liabilities incurred by forgery of one spouse signing the name of the other spouse

·      Items exchanged for or purchased with separate property

A spouse can change separate property into marital property (essentially making a gift of separate property to the other spouse) by changing the title into a form of joint ownership. Likewise, when one spouse gives another spouse a gift, that gift would be treated as marital property. Tenants by the entireties offers certain protections and benefits for married couples; however, owning property in this manner will result in the court presuming the property so held is a marital asset.

Once it is determined what properties are marital and/or non-marital, a value of each asset and liability must be determined.  At Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys, we collaborate with forensic accountants or professional appraisers for valuation of professional practice, partnerships, corporations, other business, goodwill, pensions, retirement benefits and stock options. Once we know the actual value of the assets and liabilities that you and your spouse accumulated during the marriage, we can discuss what assets are important for you to keep. Our goal is to allow you to keep those assets and not have to liquidate them to pay attorneys’ fees and costs of litigation.

When the Final Judgment is recorded, awards of assets, be they a house, a car, or a toaster, can be enforced by a court. To illustrate, sometimes in a divorce, a party is ordered to sign a quit claim deed giving up all of their interest in a martial home. If they refuse to sign the quit claim deed, the recorded Final Judgment acts as a deed. The owner of the home now has clear title to the home and can sell, refinance or mortgage the home. At Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys we ascertain the value of the marital assets and liabilities. Valuing some property, such as checking accounts, cars, and houses, will be straightforward once the valuation date is established. Intangible assets is still considered property but may present more of a challenge in valuation. 

In certain circumstances unequal distribution can be made by the court after considering relevant factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s economic situation, the spouse who will be primarily caring for the children and the ability of the children to reside in the marital home, spousal contributions to the marriage, interruption of a career for the sake of the marriage and/or the children, and whether either spouse wasted marital assets two years prior to the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage or after the filing of the petition. Throughout the divorce process, our highly experienced attorneys may work closely with forensic accountants in valuing businesses, discovering hidden assets and protecting assets, from the consequences of divorce.

At Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys, we particularize our client’s goals when family law matters are complex and potentially affect every aspect of one’s life, from financial to emotional, physical and legal. Our objective is to provide you with an assessment of your case and assist in formulating solutions that best suit your family’s needs and goals.

To schedule a confidential consultation with the Palm Beach County attorney, call Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys at (561) 472-0087.

Complex Divorce

Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys have extensive experience handling cases involving complex property division issues. Division issues can be complex when the value of the assets is high or when the case involves the ownership of businesses. When necessary, we can call upon forensic accountants, financial analysts, business valuation specialists and others who can provide testimony in support of our client’s case. Our firm will work to protect your assets and your rights at all stages of the process. Our goal will be to put you in the strongest financial position possible at the time of your divorce. Complex financial cases include but are not limited to:

·      Business assets, including closely held businesses, corporations, partnerships, and proprietorships

·      Executive compensations plans

·      Boats, exotic cars, recreational vehicles

·      Hidden assets and homes

·      Valuable collections

·      Dissipation of assets and protection of assets

·      Retirement accounts, including pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs

·      Second homes and investment properties

·      Investment accounts and mutual funds

·      Stock, stock options and bonds

·      Bonuses and deferred compensation

·      Trust funds, offshore accounts and other diverted income

 

To protect your assets and your rights, representation by an attorney knowledgeable in property division matters is essential.  Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys have successfully represented clients throughout Palm Beach County in all types of property division disputes, including cases involving complex assets and large marital estates. Although we may make efforts to resolve your case amicably we prepare from the start to fully litigate your case. We will work to protect your rights and assets and to achieve the best possible settlement for you.

At Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys we are focused on family law matters. We are highly knowledgeable and unapologetically tenacious, we are well versed in dealing with complex financial and emotional issues and work collaboratively with accountants, therapists, private investigators and other experts to provide the best possible outcome in each individual case. Our experienced attorneys use skill, strategy, technology and empathy to work closely with each client and determine the smartest and most efficient route to achieving their goals, either through settlement or in court, never losing sight of the personal attention that sets us apart.

To schedule a confidential consultation with the Palm Beach County attorney, call Elaine M. Simon, Marital and Family Law Attorneys at (561) 472-0087.