High Net Worth Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville

Florida ranks third in the United States for the number of billionaires, with a total of 78 individuals who have achieved billionaire status. [1] Moreover, the state ranks 4th in the US by the number of households with more than $1 million in investable assets as of 2020. [2]

Navigating a divorce in Florida is not easy, but when substantial assets and complex financial holdings are involved, the process can become even more daunting.

Some unique challenges and considerations arise when individuals with significant wealth choose to end their marriage. From intricate asset valuation and division to the complexities of spousal support and tax implications, high net worth divorces require specialized expertise and strategic planning to ensure fair and equitable outcomes.


Trusted Jacksonville Legal Counsel for High Net Worth Divorce Cases

Your Path to a Fair and Favorable High Asset Divorce Resolution

Sack & Sacks has been serving the unique needs of high net worth individuals navigating divorce in Jacksonville for over 45 years. With a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the complexities involved in high asset divorces, our team stands ready to provide you with unparalleled legal support and guidance throughout this challenging time.

Whether you are a business owner, investor, or professional with significant assets at stake, our attorneys possess the expertise and resources to protect your interests and secure a favorable outcome.


Trusted Jacksonville Legal Counsel for High Net Worth Divorce Cases


High Asset Divorces in Jacksonville

A high net worth divorce is the dissolution of marriage between individuals with substantial financial assets, investments, or business holdings.

Unlike typical divorces, which may involve more straightforward asset division, high net worth divorces entail navigating a complex web of financial portfolios, real estate holdings, stock options, and other valuable assets.

Common Challenges and Complexities

Challenges with high net worth divorces include the following:

  • Hidden Assets:
    There is a risk of one spouse attempting to conceal assets or manipulate financial records to gain an unfair advantage. Uncovering hidden assets may necessitate thorough investigation and forensic accounting.
  • Tax Implications:
    The division of assets and financial settlements in high value divorces can have significant tax consequences. It is essential to develop tax-efficient strategies to minimize tax liabilities and maximize financial outcomes.
  • Lifestyle Maintenance:
    In many affluent divorces, one spouse may have become accustomed to a certain lifestyle supported by the marital assets. Maintaining this lifestyle post-divorce, particularly for financially dependent spouses, can pose challenges and require careful consideration.


Common Challenges and Complexities


Financial Considerations in Affluent Divorce in Jacksonville, Florida

In a recent report published by Forbes on the top 400 influential billionaires and where they reside, 46 (12% of the list) were found to be residents of Florida. [3]

In Florida high net worth divorces, accurately valuing and dividing assets is imperative for achieving a fair and equitable outcome. This includes:

  • Business Interests:
    When spouses share ownership of businesses or professional practices, divorce can complicate matters related to ownership, management, and valuation. Effective succession planning and buyout agreements may be necessary to address these issues. Florida courts follow equitable distribution laws when dividing marital assets, which may include closely held businesses, professional practices, and corporate interests. [4] Valuing these assets often requires the expertise of forensic accountants or business valuation experts.
  • Investment Portfolios:
    The state law requires equitable distribution of all marital assets, including investment portfolios comprised of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities. Determining the value of these assets may involve analyzing market trends and consulting with financial professionals.
  • Real Estate Holdings:
    Florida is a “fair market value” state, meaning that real estate assets are typically valued based on their current market value. Appraisals may be necessary to determine the value of primary residences, vacation properties, and other real estate holdings. [5]
  • Retirement Accounts and Pensions:
    Retirement savings, 401(k) plans, pensions, and other retirement benefits are subject to equitable distribution in Florida divorces. Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) may be necessary to divide these assets, and compliance with federal and state laws governing retirement benefits is essential.


Prenuptial Agreements and Asset Protection

Prenuptial agreements play a significant role by providing a framework for asset division and property rights. Key considerations include:

  • Asset Protection:
    Prenuptial agreements can delineate which assets are considered separate property and which are subject to equitable distribution in the event of divorce, providing a level of asset protection for high net worth individuals.
  • Financial Transparency:
    Florida law requires full financial disclosure in prenuptial agreements, ensuring transparency and preventing disputes over asset ownership and valuation.
  • Enforceability:
    To be enforceable in Florida, prenuptial agreements must be entered into voluntarily by both parties, with a full understanding of their terms and implications. Working with an experienced attorney is essential to drafting a prenuptial agreement that complies with Florida law and meets the needs of both spouses.


Prenuptial Agreements and Asset Protection


Tax Implications and Strategies

In Florida, high net worth divorces, and tax considerations can significantly impact the division of assets and financial settlements. Key considerations include:

  • Capital Gains Taxes:
    Florida does not have a state income tax, but capital gains taxes may still apply to the sale or transfer of assets as part of a divorce settlement. Implementing tax-efficient strategies, such as timing asset liquidation and structuring property transfers, can help minimize tax liabilities.
  • Alimony and Spousal Support:
    Florida law allows for both temporary and permanent alimony, and the tax treatment of alimony payments changed with the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in 2017. [6]
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs):
    Dividing retirement accounts and pensions in Florida requires the preparation of QDROs, which establish the alternate payee’s right to receive a portion of the plan participant’s benefits. Compliance with QDRO requirements is essential to avoid tax penalties and other legal issues. [7]

By working with our experienced attorneys in Florida, you can develop strategic solutions that protect your financial interests and facilitate a fair and equitable resolution of your divorce proceedings.


Spousal Support and Alimony in High Net Worth Divorce in Florida

In Florida, spousal support (alimony) may be awarded based on various factors, including the duration of the marriage, the financial resources of each spouse, and the standard of living established during the marriage.

The court may also consider each spouse’s contributions to the marriage, including homemaking, childcare, and career sacrifices made to support the other spouse’s career or education.


Types of Alimony in Florida

Florida law recognizes several types of alimony, including temporary, bridge-the-gap, rehabilitative, durational, and permanent alimony.

Temporary alimony may be awarded during the divorce proceedings to provide financial support to the lesser-earning spouse until a final alimony determination is made.

Bridge-the-gap alimony is intended to assist a spouse with short-term financial needs, such as housing or utilities, for a specific period after the divorce.

Rehabilitative alimony is awarded to help a spouse acquire education or training necessary to become self-supporting.

Durational alimony provides financial support for a set period, typically not exceeding the duration of the marriage.

Permanent alimony may be awarded in cases where one spouse lacks the ability to become self-supporting and requires ongoing financial support.


Types of Alimony in Florida


Negotiating Spousal Support Agreements

In affluent divorces, negotiating spousal support agreements requires careful consideration of each spouse’s financial needs and resources.

Sacks & Sacks work with financial experts to analyze the financial impact of various spousal support scenarios and develop strategies to achieve fair and equitable outcomes. Creative solutions, such as lump-sum alimony payments or property settlements in lieu of ongoing support, may be explored to meet the needs of both parties while minimizing tax implications.



Child Custody and Support in High Value Divorces in Jacksonville, Florida

In a Jacksonville affluent divorce, factors considered by the court may include the child’s relationship with each parent, the parents’ ability to provide for the child’s needs, and the child’s preferences if they are of sufficient maturity.

Florida law encourages shared parental responsibility, where both parents have a say in major decisions affecting the child’s upbringing, such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Custody arrangements may be structured as sole custody, joint custody, or a combination of both, depending on the circumstances of the case.


Creating a Comprehensive Parenting Plan

Florida law requires divorcing parents to create a parenting plan outlining how they will share responsibility for the care and upbringing of their children post-divorce.

A parenting plan typically includes details such as the child’s primary residence, visitation schedules, holiday and vacation arrangements, and methods for resolving disputes between parents. Divorces among the wealthy may involve additional considerations, such as private schooling, extracurricular activities, and travel arrangements, which should be addressed in the parenting plan.


Creating a Comprehensive Parenting Plan


Child Support Guidelines and Obligations

Florida law provides guidelines for calculating child support obligations based on each parent’s income, the number of children, and other relevant factors. Wealthy individuals may have complex income sources, such as investments, business interests, and bonuses, which can impact child support calculations.

The court may deviate from the standard child support guidelines if it determines that doing so is in the best interests of the child, taking into account factors such as the child’s needs and the parents’ financial resources.


Legal Strategies for High Net Worth Divorces in Florida

High net worth individuals in Florida can benefit from proactive asset protection strategies to safeguard their wealth during divorce proceedings.

These strategies may include

  • Asset Tracing involves identifying and documenting the origins and ownership of assets to distinguish between separate property and marital property. This process may include gathering financial records, bank statements, deeds, and other documentation to trace the source of funds used to acquire assets. Asset tracing can help prove the separate ownership of certain assets and protect them from being subject to equitable distribution in divorce.
  • Establishment of Trusts or Legal Entities can be an effective way to protect assets from being subject to equitable distribution in divorce. Trusts are legal arrangements where a trustee holds assets on behalf of beneficiaries. By transferring assets to a trust, individuals can retain control over those assets while shielding them from being considered marital property in divorce proceedings.

Similarly, establishing legal entities such as limited liability companies (LLCs) or corporations can provide a layer of protection for assets by creating separate legal entities that own and manage those assets.

Working with our experienced attorneys who understand Florida’s equitable distribution laws and the intricacies of asset protection can help you develop tailored strategies to preserve your financial interests.


Legal Strategies for High Net Worth Divorces in Florida


Strategic Negotiation, Mediation and Litigation

In Florida, mediation is often used to resolve disputes amicably and avoid costly litigation. Mediation allows parties to work together with a neutral mediator to reach mutually acceptable agreements on issues such as asset division, spousal support, and child custody.

While mediation is often preferred in high net worth divorces, litigation may be necessary in cases where parties cannot reach agreements on key issues. Litigation requires aggressive advocacy and courtroom experience to present compelling arguments and evidence before the court.

Our experienced trial attorneys can effectively represent your interests in court and work towards achieving favorable outcomes in high-stakes divorce litigation.


Finding the Right High Net Worth Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville

If you live in one of the following area and you are filing for divorce, having a high net worth divorce attorney is your best bet:

  • Queens Harbour Yacht & Country Club
  • Pablo Creek Reserve
  • Glen Kernan Golf & Country Club
  • Ortega / Ortega Forest
  • Epping Forest

For personalized assistance with your high net worth divorce in Jacksonville, contact our experienced team of attorneys at Sacks & Sacks today. We are dedicated to providing dedicated guidance and effective representation to help you navigate this challenging time with confidence and clarity. Schedule a consultation with us now.


Finding the Right High Net Worth Divorce Attorney in Jacksonville



[1] List of U.S. states by the number of billionaires. (2024, April 16). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_the_number_of_billionaires

[2] List of U.S. states by the number of millionaire households. (2024, January 23). Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_the_number_of_millionaire_households

[3] Peterson-Withorn, C. (2023, October 4). Where The Forbes 400 Live: These States Have The Most Billionaire Residents. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/chasewithorn/2023/10/03/where-the-forbes-400-live-these-states-have-the-most-billionaire-residents/?sh=621e70401eb7

[4] Florida Courts. (n.d.). https://www.flcourts.gov/content/download/862618/file/2023-01%20AAML%20-%20Equitable%20Distribution%20Outline.pdf

[5] Gilbert, R. (2021, April 3). FAIRNESS OF “FAIR MARKET VALUE” – Florida’s Title Insurance Company. https://www.ftic.net/2021/04/03/fairness-of-fair-market-value/

[6] Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). (n.d.). LII / Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/tax_cuts_and_jobs_act_of_2017_(tcja)

[7] qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). (n.d.). LII / Legal Information Institute. https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/qualified_domestic_relations_order_(qdro)

[8] The Most Expensive Neighborhoods in Jacksonville FL [2023 UPDATED]. (n.d.). https://www.bradofficer.com/blog/the-most-expensive-neighborhoods-in-jacksonville-fl.html

Law Offices of Sacks & Sacks, P.A.

1646 Emerson St Suite B, Jacksonville, FL 32207
Phone: (904) 396-5557

Sacks and Sacks Law
1646 Emerson St. Suite B Jacksonville, FL 32207

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