High Net Worth Divorce And Equitable Distribution: Investments
One of the hardest parts of getting a divorce is dividing property. For high income couples, splitting assets is even more challenging. There is a lot at stake—and you may own many different types of complex property, including investment interests. Here, our Boca Raton equitable distribution attorney provides an overview of the most important things you should understand about division of investment interests in a divorce in Florida.
Florida is an Equitable Division State—Investments are Not an Exception
Under Florida law, assets are split equitably in a divorce (Florida Statutes § 61.075). Equitable distribution means a fair division—it can be, but is not always, equal. Marital property is subject to the equitable property division standard. In contrast, separate property remains the ownership of each individual spouse. Investments are no exception to this rule. If they are a marital asset, investments will be subject to equitable property division in a Florida divorce.
Note: A prenuptial agreement could have an effect on your case. If you and your spouse signed a prenup, make sure that you provide a copy of the agreement to your divorce lawyer for a review.
You Need a Comprehensive Inventory of All Investments
In order to ensure a fair division of assets in a Florida divorce, it is crucial to have a comprehensive inventory of all investments. This includes not only traditional stocks and bonds, but also any other financial assets such as retirement accounts, real estate holdings, and other business interests. In Florida, comprehensive financial disclosures are required as part of a divorce (Fla. Fam. Law. R. P. 12.285).
Tax Advantaged Retirement Investments are Subject to Special Rules
Are your investments held in a tax-advantaged retirement account? Tax advantaged retirement investments, such as 401(k)s and IRAs, are subject to special rules in a Florida divorce. These investments are protected by federal law and cannot be directly divided as part of a property settlement—otherwise there may be early withdrawal tax penalties. The good news is that there is a solution. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which allows for the transfer of a portion of one spouse’s retirement account to the other spouse without incurring taxes or penalties.
Dividing Investment Interests Can Be Extremely Complex—Seek Professional Help
Dividing investment interests during a divorce can be highly complex and challenging. With a variety of financial assets to consider— stocks, bonds, real estate holdings, retirement accounts, etc— it can be difficult to determine the best course of action. This is especially true if you hold complex investments that cannot be easily sold/divided. A Florida high net worth divorce lawyer with experience handling investments can protect your rights and help you find the best solution.
Contact a High Net Worth Property Division Lawyer in Southeast Florida Today
At Williams & Varsegi, LLC, our Florida property division attorneys are committed to protecting your best interests. If you have any specific questions about dividing investments in a divorce, we are here to help. Give us a call now or contact us online to set up your strictly confidential initial family law consultation. From our Boca Raton office, we provide high net worth divorce representation in Parkland, Coral Springs, Broward County, and throughout South Florida.