Representing the High Net Worth Client

Stack of $100 Bills

 

By Jeff Weissman

As a marital and family law attorney in South Florida, I handle many divorce cases involving individuals who hold significant financial wealth. Protecting my clients’ assets is my primary concern in negotiating a contentious divorce. I have created some tips for attorneys who are managing high net worth divorce situations to help them reach positive outcomes and allow both parties to move on with their lives as quickly and painlessly as possible.

1. A sound prenuptial agreement is the first step in preventing a messy divorce. Advise clients to consider building reasonable prenuptial agreements that provide a substantial enough monetary provision to discourage further litigation.

2. Make sure clients consider the implications of a lengthy divorce case. In many states, the proceedings from a divorce might become public record even if they are initially sealed. If your client possesses hidden assets, or if the process of forensic accounting will uncover some potentially questionable business practices, then a quick settlement might be advisable. Encourage each client to examine the risks and rewards of settling versus becoming involved in a case that could create long-term damage for his or her reputation.

3. For high net worth individuals who also attract substantial attention, a divorce case can be an appealing story for tabloid-style media. Especially when children are involved, the public sentiment generated by media reports will very likely not be favorable for your wealthy client. Work with your client and his or her assistants to minimize media exposure from the beginning in every feasible way.

About the author: as a Partner at Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Gladstone & Weissman, P.A., Jeff Weissman is a member of the Family Law Section and the Executive Council of the Florida Bar.

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Jeff Weissman Attorney

Board certified in Marital and Family Law, attorney Jeff Weissman has been called to present at numerous conferences and seminars. He also authored the Parental Relocation Law, Section 61.13001, which was enacted in the State of Florida in 2006. Jeff Weissman has presented regularly for the Florida Bar Association, Family Law Section. In late 2010, Weissman spoke on practical and theoretical aspects of evidence within a family law context. Earlier that year, he gave a seminar on practice and procedure, which was attended by over 1,000 attorneys and other legal professionals from across Florida. In 2009, Jeff Weissman led seminars on equitable distribution and development of time-sharing parenting plans. He also moderated a judicial panel on parental relocation issues. These events each attracted hundreds of legal professionals. In addition, Weissman led basic family law seminars in Miami and Tampa, covering issues such as attorney’s fees, methods for determining jurisdiction, and practices and procedures. Jeff Weissman has also accepted speaking engagements in the corporate sector. Jeff Weissman studied at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, graduating in 1994. He has focused on family and marital law since that time, and he has served as a Partner at Gladstone & Weissman, P.A. for more than a decade. Weissman holds two Florida Supreme Court certifications: as a Mediator and a Guardian Ad Litem. He has been recognized with numerous professional awards, including repeat listings in Florida Super Lawyers and The Best Lawyers in America.

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