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Complex Matrimonial Matters


Protecting your assets during complex divorce or separation

Divorce and separation bring about complex financial and property division issues for couples with accumulated joint assets, especially for high-net-worth couples. In a divorce, Florida law requires that everything acquired during the marriage be distributed equitably. Our top-rated divorce lawyer, Lawrence S. Katz, works to ensure that you receive a fair and equitable share of the marital assets. We also provide knowledgeable legal guidance on the complicated estate planning and tax issues caused by divorce.

Property division

Assets in divorce are classified as either marital or non-marital. Marital assets are those assets accumulated from the date of your marriage until the date of filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with certain exceptions. Non-marital assets generally include those assets you had prior to marriage and any passive appreciation of those assets, along with gifts and inheritances received during the marriage. We help facilitate a fair asset division by identifying marital assets and obtaining valuations of businesses and appraisals of personal and real property. We push to achieve a quick resolution and are experienced in drafting and negotiating property and marital settlement agreements.

Our knowledgeable matrimonial attorney assists wealthy business executives, celebrities, athletes and other clients in the Miami area who own valuable assets, such as:

  • Vacation real estate
  • Multiple homes
  • Luxury cars and other motor vehicles
  • Boats and yachts
  • Charter jet memberships/helicopter services
  • Businesses
  • Art and wine collections
  • Fine jewelry
  • Club memberships, such as for country clubs or golf courses
  • Retirement accounts, including 401(k) accounts, IRAs and pension funds
  • Stocks and stock options
  • High assets and hidden assets

Tax issues

When dividing significant assets, it is critical to have a family law attorney with an in-depth understanding of potential tax implications. Property distribution must be done in a manner that does not create additional tax liabilities. We help clients legally avoid negative tax consequences when possible and work with forensic accountants. Some of the tax issues we discuss with clients include:

  • Tax gain The transfer of property to a former spouse incident to divorce is not recognized as a gain or loss for tax purposes. A transfer of property is incident to divorce if the transfer occurs within one year after the date on which the marriage ceases, or is related to the divorce and is pursuant to a divorce or separation instrument and occurs not more than six years after the date on which the marriage ceases.
  • Gift tax The transfer of marital property rights under a property settlement agreement that was incorporated into a divorce decree is not subject to gift tax. Transfers made that are not pursuant to an agreement incorporated into a divorce decree may still be exempt under certain circumstances.
  • Alimony For tax purposes, alimony is generally deductible by the payor and included in gross income and thereby taxable to the payee.

Estate planning

During your marriage, you may have listed your spouse as a beneficiary or representative on many important legal documents. It is important to update these documents as soon as possible during divorce or separation:

  • Wills Under Florida law, provisions of a will or trust signed during marriage that affect your spouse become void upon the final dissolution of the marriage. If something happens to you during the pendency of your divorce, however, the fact that a divorce was pending does not keep your spouse from inheriting according to the terms of your will.
  • Trusts Minor children cannot inherit your estate until they reach the age of majority. If your spouse was named as trustee, you should update your trust documents to name another trustee.
  • Healthcare surrogate A designation of your spouse as your healthcare surrogate is revoked when the divorce is final, and it is important to appoint a new person to make medical decisions if you are unable to do so.
  • Durable power of attorney Upon filing for divorce in Florida, any powers your spouse had under a durable power of attorney are automatically terminated. You should select another person to be your agent and execute a new document.
  • Beneficiary designation Beneficiary designations on retirement accounts, life insurance policies or annuities, for example, are not automatically revoked upon divorce and should be updated to appoint a new beneficiary.
  • Subsequent marriages If you remarry following a divorce or the death of your spouse, it is important to update wills and trusts, especially if you already have children.

Dividing businesses in divorce proceedings

Even if the ownership interest of a business is in only one spouse’s name, it may still be marital property. Having a business valuation done by a qualified expert is critical, because divorcing spouses often disagree about the value of a business. We work closely with qualified forensic accountants who are certified to arrive at a fair valuation of the business and fight to ensure that you receive your fair share.

Call our Miami-Dade County and South Florida family law firm

Trust your future to The Law Offices of Lawrence S. Katz, P.A. Our high ethical standards provide clients with the confidence needed to face complex matrimonial issues. The decisions you make during the divorce process may affect you for the rest of your life. Let us help you secure your future. Contact us at 305-670-8656 or online today to schedule a consultation. Se habla español.

Lawrence  S.  Katz Attorney Photo
Lawrence S. Katz

For many years, Lawrence S. Katz has helped clients in Florida, throughout the United States and abroad. He has earned an excellent worldwide reputation for providing knowledgeable, quality representation in cross border family law matters and child abduction. He serves as counsel, co-counsel, consultant and expert witness.

Client Reviews
  • google

    I had a great experience with Smith & Kurbatova while applying for my green card. They made me feel like family and guided me every step of the way. I can't recommend them enough!

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    Esther Robertson

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    It turned out that Larry Katz, who came highly recommended, was the best legal alternative. His extensive knowledge and open communication reassured me. When dealing with a serious child custody issue, I felt I had to secure the best bargain possible...

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    Henry Ellis

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    The best legal option turned out to be Larry Katz, who came highly recommended. I felt reassured by his in-depth expertise and transparent communication. I realized I had to get the finest deal when dealing with a crucial child custody matter. Larry'...

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    Sophia Jackson

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    Larry Katz is a legal genius in international family law.

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    Stephen Craig

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    As I look back, I am immensely grateful to Larry Katz and his team. They turned what could have been a prolonged and arduous legal battle into a swift and successful resolution. Larry's professionalism, clear communication, and strategic approach are...

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    Olivia Martin

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