One of the most difficult aspects of a Florida divorce is determining a fair division of marital wealth. In some cases, this need is further complicated by the efforts of one party to shield assets from the property division process. This can be especially challenging in a high asset divorce, where a couple’s financial holdings can be very complex. The services of a financial advisor can be helpful in sorting out the full scope of marital wealth.
If an advisor suspects that money has been hidden, he or she can delve deeper into the couple’s financial records to determine if, when and how that diversion has occurred. In some cases, dishonest spouses will attempt to give money to friends or family prior to a divorce. Others will open offshore accounts and divert funds over a period of time.
A financial advisor will begin by looking closely at the couple’s income and expenses. If it appears that one spouse is living a lifestyle that is not in line with his or her claimed income, then it is possible to estimate a deemed income, and make an argument to the court that the financial order should be based on the deemed, and not the claimed level of income. If it appears that additional information can be found through court orders compelling the release of financial information, then such a request can be made to the court.
No two high asset divorce cases are the same, and many will move forward with no efforts to hide or shield assets. For some Florida spouses, however, having that extra level of assurance that all marital funds have been accounted for is worth the time and expense of working with a financial advisor. The outcome of the property division process will have a lasting impact on the lives of both parties, which is why it is so important to take a cautious approach.
Source: professionaladviser.com, “The role of advisers in financial disclosure“, Marilyn Bell, Aug. 29, 2017