St. Petersburg High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer
Complex Family Litigation
Divorce is rarely, if ever, simple. However, some divorces are much more complicated than others. Complex divorce cases often require litigation to resolve issues particular to high net worth couples. The St. Petersburg high net worth divorce lawyers of Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., is uniquely situated to address these issues competently and professionally. Our experienced staff includes Florida Bar Board Certified specialists in Marital and Family Law, Civil Trial Law and Business Litigation. With a depth of experience in Florida divorce, as well as commercial law and real estate legal matters, our attorneys are exceptionally well-equipped to handle even the most complex family law litigation or high net worth divorce.
Equitable Distribution of Marital Property in High Net Worth Divorces
When one or both spouses have a high net worth, a divorce quickly becomes more complex. With more at stake, the question of the equitable distribution of marital property is often hotly contested and aggressively litigated. The property at issue is likely of a more complex and intricate nature as well. Frequently, the interpretation, enforcement or challenge to an extensive prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is involved as well.
The judge’s task in the property division is to consider a set of factors and decide what kind of property settlement – equal or unequal – would result in equitable distribution. The lawyer’s job is to prepare and present a compelling argument for the judge regarding those factors. Additionally, the attorney will work to see that every asset is located, properly characterized as marital or nonmarital, and accurately valued. The more complex and high net worth the marital estate, the more complicated this job becomes.
Our St. Petersburg divorce lawyers are prepared to work through the following complex issues involving business interests, professional practices, stocks, offshore accounts and other types of property:
Business Valuations – How should a business be valued – according to is cash value, market value, the potential for growth or some other metric? Should goodwill be included? Is the spouse essential to the growth or maintenance of the business? What would become of it if it were sold?
Employment Benefits – What share of an employee’s pension, if any, counts as marital property? What type of benefit plan is it, and is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) required to distribute a portion of benefits to the non-earning spouse? How should the court deal with highly-paid executives with complex compensation packages?
Hidden Assets – Is a spouse using offshore accounts to hide assets from the other spouse or the courts? Is the spouse using complex financial instruments and transactions to convert cash into property so that it can’t be easily traced to its source? Did a spouse intentionally dissipate assets in anticipation of an upcoming divorce?
To answer these questions, our firm relies on decades of experience handling complex divorce cases in St. Petersburg and surrounding areas. Additionally, we work with forensic accountants, investigators and vocational experts as needed to identify, characterize and value assets and debts. Vocational services can be especially helpful when a spouse is self-employed, unemployed or potentially underemployed, misrepresenting one’s earning ability to gain an advantage in the property settlement, child support or alimony determination.
High-Level Experience in Complex Family Law Litigation
The St. Petersburg high net worth divorce lawyers at Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A., handle the full range of complex family law litigation, from family trusts to tax issues and beyond. For help with a complex family law matter or high net worth divorce in St. Petersburg or surrounding areas, call Meros, Smith, Lazzara, Brennan & Brennan, P.A, at 727-822-4929 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.