The divorce lawyers at Ellis and Bryant, P.A. represent clients in Northwest Florida in negotiations and disputes related to the division of their property upon the end of a marriage. Some of these cases involve spouses with sizeable assets and significant net worth. These high-asset divorce cases often raise important legal questions that can determine how your assets are divided between your former spouse and you. It is vital that you have a Jacksonville divorce attorney at your side throughout the process. We are experienced family lawyers who understand the stress that can come with separating from a spouse, and we work diligently to resolve these cases as efficiently and effectively as possible.Equitable Distribution in Florida
Property distribution is often one of the central issues in Florida divorce cases involving spouses with high assets or net worth. State law gives spouses the option to resolve between themselves how to divide those assets. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are great tools for resolving the uncertainty that can come with a high-asset divorce.
Florida law also offers a simplified divorce process for qualifying couples. The process is designed to resolve these cases in a relatively speedy way and with little acrimony between the divorcing spouses. At least one of the spouses must have been living in Florida for at least half a year before filing the divorce petition to qualify for the simplified process. The spouses also need to agree that the marriage is “irretrievably broken.” That is a generic legal term that allows divorcing couples to legally split without arguing about who is to blame. The divorcing spouses additionally need to show that they do not have any kids under 18 and that neither spouse is seeking alimony from the other.
Spouses who do not qualify for the expedited process and cannot come to an agreement about how to split their assets must have a judge do it for them. Florida’s equitable distribution system focuses on “fairness,” instead of requiring a simple 50-50 split of assets. Still, splitting the assets evenly may well be the best solution in many cases. For assets like real property that cannot simply be divided in half, one spouse may need to buy the other out of their share in order to complete the distribution.
Judges consider fairness in property distribution by first requiring the spouses to tell the court all of the property that they own. This means providing a detailed listing of property and other assets, including business holdings, investment accounts, and joint ventures with other partners.Searching for Hidden Assets
Florida law requires divorcing spouses to disclose their assets. In some situations, however, a spouse may not be telling the court the full story about the property that they own. This is unfortunately common in family law proceedings, but an attorney can help you uncover hidden assets.
Individuals and businesses may use all kinds of straw men and smokescreens to cloud their identities in business transactions. That can make certain assets tough to uncover from financial and accounting records during a high-asset divorce. Spouses may try to conceal stocks, bonds, and other liquid investments by transferring them to third parties or burying them in offshore accounts. The good news is that experienced divorce attorneys and accounting experts know where to look and how to uncover hidden assets.Contact a Knowledgeable Divorce Lawyer in the Jacksonville Area
At Ellis and Bryant, we guide clients through the divorce process with professionalism and experience. We take the time to understand each person’s individual situation and to keep clients up to speed at every step of the way. Our attorneys also make every effort to help clients reach agreements with their former spouses when possible so that it is not left to a judge to decide the important issues often at stake in these cases. We have nearly two decades of combined legal experience and a solid track record of getting strong results for the people whom we represent. Call us at (904) 551-4120 or contact us online to speak with a lawyer about your case today. We also can assist you with other matters related to a divorce, such as child custody or support.