Divorcing Wealthy in Florida

What is the best way to end up wealthy after divorce?  It is by being even wealthier before divorce.  The truth is that divorce is not cheap.  But there are things that you can do to help preserve your wealth even if your marriage is ending.

Retain a Neutral Financial Professional

One of the biggest challenges when going through divorce is that one spouse typically knows more about the family finances than the other spouse.  If you are the spouse with the knowledge, this can be frustrating because you feel you are making reasonable proposals that would benefit your spouse, and yet your spouse is outright rejecting them or refuses to make a decision, costing your family even more time and money.  If you are the spouse without knowledge of the family finances, you feel like your spouse is trying to control you by badgering you to agree to their proposal, but how can you even make a decision that could have disastrous consequences for your long term financial future?

This is where a Neutral Financial Professional comes in.

In Florida, a Neutral Financial Professional works with both spouses in a divorce.  This cuts down on the cost and time of gathering and exchanging mandatory disclosure and other financial information.  The Neutral Financial Professional will also work to even the playing field so that both spouses have knowledge of the family finances, oftentimes overcoming the “freeze” response to decision-making and reducing the time it takes to reach an agreement.  He or she will also help the spouses create post-divorce budgets via financial affidavits so each of you have an understanding of what you can afford to spend.   The Neutral Financial Professional also can help you and your spouse develop options that take into account not just what might happen in court but also tax planning or investment allocation considerations.

Yes, there are upfront costs associated with working with a Neutral Financial Professional, but the time savings and potential long-term wealth preservation is well worth it.

Utilize a Facilitator

Divorce is a trauma.  Even under the best of circumstances, it is tough.  In my experience, it is not the legal issues or even always the financial issues that prevent spouses from reaching an agreement; it is the deteriorated relationship between them and the loss of an identity as spouses that at one point they thought was secure.

This is why you need a Facilitator.  In Florida, a Facilitator specializes in communication, family dynamics, and conscious uncoupling.  He or she is licensed as a mental health professional but is not engaging in therapy.  Rather, he or she helps you communicate with your spouse in a way that your spouse can hear the intent instead of stewing on their interpretation of the effect.  The Facilitator is also a team leader and helps encourage everyone to complete their required tasks on a timely basis.  Though divorce is a process and never goes as fast as you want it to, the Facilitator can help expedite the path to resolution.

And this is important because we know that going through divorce has negative emotional and financial consequences.  A survey from Good Housekeeping and SupportPay found that the majority of those in the midst of divorce have lower productivity, higher absenteeism, decrease in job performance, and decline in health and financial well-being.

Once the divorce is finalized, the Facilitator’s job is completed.  Their limited role in helping you and your spouse get through one of the most challenging times of your lives is priceless.

Divorce Via the Collaborative Process

Traditional divorce is, by design, adversarial.  It follows the traditional view of litigation that the best way to find the truth is for parties to have their lawyers make arguments in front of someone who will judge those arguments and determine whose truth is correct.  Even in mediation, spouses refer to each other as “opposing parties” and lawyers refer to each other as “opposing counsel.”  And, so, in traditional divorce, oftentimes scorched earth is encouraged and any settlement reached is made on a zero-sum paradigm.

Collaborative Divorce is different.  It is a simple concept that families don’t belong in court.  You and your spouse have separate lawyers to give you each independent legal advice, but Collaborative Lawyers don’t fight in court.  They are focused solely on helping you and your spouse reach a resolution best for your family.  This means that no time, energy, or money goes towards costly motion practice, destructive depositions, or endless opposition research.

Each of your Collaborative Lawyers will help you and your spouse focus on what is important to your family, for example preserving financial security, co-parenting for your children, and protecting your reputation and legacy.  All discussions are had privately rather than in public courtrooms.  Once an agreement is reached, we can get a judge to grant the divorce while minimizing the amount of information that goes in the court file.

In the Collaborative Process, you, your spouse, both of your lawyers, the Neutral Financial Professional, and the Facilitator work together as a team to get your family through the divorce.  This holistic approach gives you the best chance of ending up on the other side of the divorce with your dignity and wealth preserved.


Divorce is expensive.  But how you choose to go through divorce will have a great impact on your ability to preserve your wealth after your marriage is dissolved.  If you are in Florida and contemplating divorce, or if you are already in the midst of divorce and are looking for another way, we invite you to contact us.  We represent clients throughout the state and have offices in Tampa, Saint Petersburg, and Sarasota.

Adam B. Cordover is one of the most experienced Collaborative Lawyers in Florida.  He trains lawyers, mental health professionals, and financial professionals how to offer Collaborative services.  He is a member of the Board of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals and is a recipient of the inaugural Visionary Award of the Florida Academy of Collaborative Professionals for founding and co-instructing the FACP Leadership Institute.