All divorces come with unique concerns, and families with high assets are not immune to these issues. In these situations, people often see property as “theirs,” and they don’t think it’s fair to share it or lose it. Sometimes, one partner simply gets greedy, and they do try to take more than what they need or deserve.
If you’re concerned about losing your assets in a divorce, here are some steps you can take to protect your property.
Often called “prenuptial agreements” or “prenups,” these documents often help people protect their wealth.
Using these contracts, you can designate which partner specifically owns what property. It may be possible that you can simply draw a line in the sand, making sure that you keep anything you owned before the marriage.
You can also use a marital agreement to classify your property. Generally, married people own two different types of property, marital and separate. Anything purchases or investments you make while married can be classified as marital, belonging to both parties. A prenuptial agreement can allow you to make sure exactly which property will always belong to you.
If you are already married, don’t worry. You can also invest in a postnuptial contract, which operates the same as a prenup.
Be careful of the wording in your agreement. If it is too imbalanced, a judge can disqualify it. Make sure you work closely with your attorney while crafting this document.
You don’t have to rely on the courts to split your assets in a divorce. By attending mediation, you can avoid taking your divorce to trial.
Mediation is a civil process, one that helps keep spouses from fighting on opposing sides. In this process, you both meet with the same legal professional. This person is trained to help people negotiate. They can keep people listening to one another’s needs, and they can help calm the room if talks get heated.
No one “wins” or “loses” in mediation. In the best-case scenarios, both spouses can walk away satisfied. Even when you don’t get everything you want, you can still receive some peace of mind. You will walk away from the process knowing that you agreed to every decision, and no one forced anything on you.
Through mediation, you may be able to create a fair distribution of assets. The property you worked so hard for can remain in your name, and your spouse can continue to enjoy a lifestyle comparable to their current one.
When Court Is Unavoidable
Unfortunately, some spouses simply cannot meet in the middle during a divorce. When this happens, it is necessary to take the matter to trial.
Florida uses the “equitable” distribution system, meaning property generally goes to the most “deserving” spouse. If one person was the primary user of the property, or they helped the property increase in value, they can generally keep it.
Under this system, you will need a good attorney who can argue for your entitlement to your assets. They must prove that your contribution to the asset is paramount, and it is therefore “yours.”
Russell S. Hershkowitz, L.L.C. is here to help protect spouses in a high net worth divorce. Our firm is waiting to hear from you, so call us today at (407) 753-4111 or contact us online.