Executive Divorce and/or high net worth divorces require more attention and experience than typical divorce cases because of the added complexity. Often expertise is required to thoroughly understand and present issues surrounding the valuation of a business, complex alternative investments, multiple trusts, overseas accounts and holdings, real estate holdings outside of the primary family home, tax consequences, and prenuptial/postnuptial agreements. Most executive divorces will have complex histories, and documentation requirements that are outside the average divorce. In executive divorces, average results can have far greater impacts on quality of life and the distribution of assets and support.
If you are a high net worth individual facing a divorce you will need the knowledge, expertise and critical guidance of an attorney such as Charles D. Jamieson. Mr. Jamieson is highly informed of the unique legal needs of business executives, high net worth individuals and their spouses in Florida. With a specialization in family and marital law (board certified) and a career spanning over 30 years, attorney Jamieson has built an extensive network of divorce financial planners, accountants, and valuation experts experienced in executive divorce in Florida – himself included.
Alternatives to Litigation:
Executive divorces can quickly become contentious by the nature of the “high stakes” involved. Presenting your spouse alternatives to litigation such as collaborative law and mediation should be an early consideration. Executives should want to avoid or decrease the opportunity for a spouse to become combative, engaged in relentless litigation, endless discovery, and bad faith negotiations. Taking a collaborative law approach early on, may avoid litigation and public scrutiny.
Building a Financial Picture:
To maximize results, start early with your attorney to identify your team, especially in regards to appraisers/valuation experts, accountants, and certified divorce financial planners. If required, injunctions and orders can be obtained to prevent asset liquidations not in your interest and/or to protect cash flows from a business and its continued operation. Executive divorces require a high level of financial planning and scenario building. Consider the possible issues you may face:
- Business Valuation and Professional Practices/Licenses: Determining the value of a business can prove problematic especially if one spouse is an owner while the other is not. Valuation methods vary by business type, can be asset-based, income-based, or market-comparables-based. Valuations include goodwill in their appraisals – to maximize results your attorney and business appraiser should be in agreement on strategy and valuation method and how goodwill is applied. Your attorney should be aware of current cases, evidentiary rules and the statutes that affect the valuation of a business.
- Hard to value assets: copyrights, trademarks, patents, and other intellectual property types.
- Tax consequences: Significant differences may be found with different property divisions and maintenance awards – requires forecasting
- Holdings: Separate properties (requires determination), multiple states or overseas.
- Alternative investments: Accredited investors
- Wide ranging and complex fact sets: multiple businesses, personal property such as: collector cars, art, antiques and other collections, partnership agreements, employment agreements, employee benefit plans, defined benefit plans, inheritances, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements (do not assume enforceability)