Divorce is never easy, and when it involves high-asset couples who are parting ways later in life, it can be even more complicated. One of the significant challenges in such divorces is property division.
Understanding the steps to take when dividing property in high-asset gray divorces equitably is necessary to maintain fair financial standing.
Identify marital and separate property
Marital property typically encompasses assets such as real estate, retirement accounts, investments and even businesses obtained during the marriage. Separate property is the assets owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired through inheritance or gifts during the marriage.
Valuation involves assessing the worth of each asset, which can be quite complex when dealing with substantial wealth. You must accurately appraise assets like businesses, properties, stock portfolios and retirement accounts to ensure a fair division.
Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution when dividing marital property. This usually does not mean you split things evenly down the middle, but it means they try to share things fairly. They look at the length of the marriage, how much money they each brought in and what they will need after the divorce. In gray divorces, they also consider the ages and health of the spouses, how they used to live and how the divorce will affect their retirement plans.
Complexities of business ownership
When one or both spouses own businesses, property division becomes even more intricate. The court may need to determine the value of the business and how to allocate its assets and liabilities. This can involve hiring financial experts or forensic accountants to provide an accurate assessment.
According to the Journals of Gerontology, after a gray divorce, women experience a lowering of their standard of living by 45%, while the decline for men is about half that. This is one reason that property division in high-asset gray divorce can be a tricky process that requires careful consideration of many factors. Ultimately, the goal is to divide everything fairly, allowing each spouse to move forward with financial security and peace of mind.