We Offer The Compassionate, Tireless Advocacy You Deserve

  1. Home
  2.  – 
  3. Family Law
  4.  – High-Net-Worth Divorces are Just Different

High-Net-Worth Divorces are Just Different

| Jul 7, 2021 | Family Law

You might think Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos have almost nothing in common with 99.99 percent of U.S. citizens. It’s probably true, but they do have something in common with nearly 50 percent of current and formerly married individuals—they have gone through divorce. Jeff’s divorce with his ex-spouse, MacKenzie Scott, ended with a settlement that made her one of the richest women in the world.

As of July 2021, Melinda Gates is still working on finalizing her divorce with Bill, even though she first contacted divorce attorneys back in 2019. This underscores an important distinction of high-net-worth divorces, which is that they take a long time. The simplest uncontested divorces in Florida take at least five weeks; the timeline of a typical Florida divorce is six months to a year. However, high-net-worth divorces often last more than a year.

Why Do High-Net-Worth Divorces Take So Long?

The simplest answer is that high-net-worth divorces involve a lot of money, assets, and property. It takes time to properly inventory, appraise, and split marital property; a high-net-worth divorce often requires the help of a professional appraiser. Professional appraisers tasked with evaluating marital property must often take some time to conduct a business valuation, as high-net-worth divorces usually own corporate assets.

Appraisers are not the only financial professionals involved in a high-net-worth divorce. Forensic accountants are often used by spouses, as it can be extremely difficult to get an accurate picture of the other spouse’s assets. Obtaining an accurate valuation of certain appreciated assets (like stocks and rental properties) can require the services of a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Various tax professionals will help if large assets need to be sold per the instructions of the divorce settlement, as capital gains taxes might come into play.

Other Issues to Consider

As always, the most important matters to settle in a divorce settlement are child custody (referred to as “time sharing” in Florida), child support, alimony, and property division. These are always somewhat stressful, but the countless factors that need to be considered in a high-net-worth divorce can further complicate these matters. In particular, child support and alimony may be difficult to calculate if both spouses have many sources of income. It’s important to get fair alimony in a high-net-worth divorce—especially when one spouse is the main breadwinner.


There’s no way around it: high-net-worth divorces require a competent qualified family law attorney. Your attorney will need to be familiar with the nuances of the process AND be able to marshal the financial professionals who will work to help get you a fair settlement.

No matter how simple or complex your divorce is, you need personalized legal attention, and Rotella & Hernandez is able to provide just that. Give us a call today to discuss how we can help resolve your family law matters.