When couples determine that divorce is their best option, many times they are able to agree on a divorce settlement themselves. When this is the case, it is recommended that each party consult with their own attorney for two reason. The first is to ensure the agreement is in compliance with Florida law as a judge will need to review the proposed settlement and ultimately grant the divorce and the second is to make sure each of their interests are represented properly.
For those that are unable to agree on terms, mediation will be necessary to help the couple try to reach an amicable agreement. Many cases are settled through this process and avoid going to trial. However, not every couple can reach an agreement through mediation and when this happens, the case is presented in court and a judge will make the final decision.
In addition to representing individuals who are seeking divorce, Attorney Holly Gershon is a mediator to help couples find amicable resolutions for their divorce settlements. This is beneficial for her clients because of her clear and distinct understanding of the complex process of divorce and mediation.
When couples are divorcing, determining the value of assets available in the marriage may be complicated by one or more spouses misrepresenting their personal or business property and fiscal resources. While some individuals may act out of greed, others can be motivated by anger or spite.
Whatever the cause, at The Haverman Law Firm, we retain forensic accountants to scrutinize a wide variety of financial and other documents to expose undisclosed assets and other non-marital expenses that should be included in marital assets.
The most common incidents of under-reporting income and assets come about when one or both spouses control closely held businesses. Accountants can usually identify a number of dubious transactions, such as:
- Highly inflated salaries
- Unreported cash or sales transactions
- Multiple or hidden checking, banking or investment accounts
- Large one-time business write-offs
- Personal expenditures masquerading as business expenses
- Sudden decrease in income
Forensic accountancy can play an important role in litigation and obtaining fairer settlements in what may be, at the outset, unclear or confusing divorce proceedings.
Pre & Post Nuptial Agreements are ways to determine the terms of the divorce before it happens. Many individuals enter the marriage with assets that they want to protect from equitable distribution because they were obtained prior to the marriage. Many perceive pre and post nuptial agreements to be limited to high-wealth individuals and that is actually false. Anyone who has assets they would like to protect and/or want to map out the details of the divorce before it happens, is a good candidate to consider one of these as an option.
Examples of reasons to consider a Pre or Post-Nuptial Agreement:
- Future inheritance
- Business ownership
- Real estate
- Family heirloom
- High value jewelry, art or antiques
- Retirement benefits
- Management of household bills and expenses
- Management of joint bank and credit accounts
- Management of investments or projects, such as a household and/or business
- Savings contributions
- School tuition for one or both parties