The dissolution of a marriage and conflict seem to go hand in hand. This is particularly the case when significant assets are at stake. But not every couple going through a divorce wants to face a prolonged court battle or have their conflicts recorded in the public record.
For divorcing couples in Florida, even those with high assets, collaborative law may be an option to settle matters more amicably. If you’d like to explore collaborative divorce options for a high-asset divorce, the family law attorneys at Busciglio, Sheridan & Schoeb can help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
What is at Stake in a High Asset Divorce?
Understandably, the more assets a couple has accumulated during their marriage, the more challenging it can be to find common ground during the divorce process. The laws regarding property division, child support, and spousal support in Florida can be confusing. Some of the issues that couples may have to face in high-asset divorces include:
- Figuring out how to determine the equity in the marital home
- Dealing with the division of real estate when owning several properties
- Dividing pensions, 401(k)s, and other investment accounts
- Evaluating business ownership interests and determining what is considered marital property
- Finding potential solutions to spousal support where income isn’t equitable
- Agreeing to child custody and equitable child support payments
When your marriage is ending and there is so much at stake, you want to make sure you have a voice in these matters. But having a voice and demanding your day in court are not necessarily the same thing. Through creative strategies and negotiation, you and your spouse will likely get a much more positive outcome and can avoid the risk of an unfavorable court judgment.
Downsides to Traditional Litigation in High Asset Divorces
In divorce cases where there are disagreements over key issues, such as asset distribution, child support, or alimony, the next step would be to move to a contested divorce. In litigation, each party retains separate experts, setting off a costly and lengthy discovery process.
The divorce litigation process can be emotionally and mentally draining. It can also be traumatic for other members of the family, namely your children. When you choose litigation, you are putting yourself at the mercy of a backlogged court system.
Discovery, which is the collection of testimony and evidence, can take months. When there are objections from the other side, it will require additional hearings before the judge. Once you’re actually in court, the judge makes final decisions about the outcome of your case, even though they may know very little about you or your family. Overall, litigation is not a great option for most divorcing couples.
How Collaborative Divorce in Florida Works
Collaborative divorce is a process that is becoming more popular among divorcing couples who want to avoid costly and drawn-out litigation. The state of Florida recently passed the Collaborative Family Law legislation, which assigns approved Rules of Procedure for these types of cases.
One of the most significant aspects of this type of divorce is that it is not adversarial and takes place outside the official courtroom setting. Each party to the divorce signs a formal Participation Agreement with their collaborative law attorney, promising to participate in the process in good faith and seek a mutually agreeable result.