Significant Assets in a Divorce

by | Sep 16, 2014 | Legal Process

Recently, I’ve been working with clients who have large estates to settle in a divorce, and it’s fascinating work. So many clients come to me thinking their divorce will be a piece of cake. They focus entirely on their significant assets, another task to check off the list, something they can remain distant from, not so connected to.

And then, they realize that just having a large estate does not shield you from the emotional side of divorce.

The emotional turbulence hits every client at some point. There’s no avoiding it. And if you think you can focus on the money and the assets as a way to side-step the emotions, you’re in for a rude awakening.

Both sides need careful attention to detail.

It’s imperative for me, as a divorce attorney, to understand my clients’ assets. With each divorce, I review and analyze tax returns, identify investment properties, Daytona Beach real estate and business income, and assess the unique dance of all of these unique situations in the overall picture.

With businesses, we look at how they’re held, individually or as part of a partnership, and how those chips will fall in the breakup of a marriage.With large businesses, we look at any restrictions on selling or transferring the interests with a divorce, and with a family-owned business, watch out. That’s a minefield I’ve learned to dance through without igniting any ignored bombs.

Prenuptial agreements are also part of the work I do – drawing them up prior to a couple marrying and wading through them once a marriage reaches its tipping point.

I’ve written prenups for people who never end up marrying, just so they can have peace of mind in the event that they do tie the knot. Some are long and include mention of alimony, property settlements, retirement and assets owned before marriage as well as those acquired during marriage. Some are just straightforward focusing on a business or other significant asset.

Whatever it is, understanding the unique predicaments of my clients with large estates and business interests is paramount for the work that I do. If I can’t step inside my clients’ shoes, I can’t represent them fairly and swiftly.

And at the end of the day, that’s what matters.

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