Premier Family Law Attorneys
West Palm Beach Divorce Attorneys Top Quality Legal Representation, Every Time.

West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer

Top-Tier Divorce Law Firm in Serving All of Florida, Including Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie & Indian River Counties

At Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A., we have garnered a reputation for handling sophisticated and complex high-asset divorce cases in Florida in a discreet manner. Our qualified Board Certified Family and Marital Law Specialists prioritize maintaining our clients’ privacy as we understand the importance of keeping your personal life out of the public eye.

High-asset divorces in West Palm Beach are often much more complex as they require a high level of legal expertise, financial sophistication, and discretion.

A high-asset divorce may cover some of the following matters:

  • Privately held and publicly traded business interests
  • Offshore bank accounts
  • Retirement funds, investments, stocks, mutual funds, and bonds
  • Real estate holdings
  • Inheritances
  • Business valuations and/or joint businesses
  • Income and asset discovery
  • Cross border assets
  • Marital & nonmarital property (nationally and internationally)

For the most favorable outcome, it is important to hire a West Palm Beach divorce lawyer with a successful record of resolving high-asset divorce cases. With over three decades of experience and a reputation for successfully helping A-list clients resolve their divorce matters, our attorneys are the best choice to help you with your case.

Have questions about high-asset divorce or need the expertise of a skilled West Palm Beach divorce lawyer? Call Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A. at (561) 693-1241 to get started.

Florida Divorce Laws

Florida is a "no-fault" divorce state, meaning neither spouse needs to prove fault or wrongdoing by the other to obtain a divorce. The only required grounds for divorce in Florida is that the marriage is "irretrievably broken."

Here are the common issues involved in a Florida divorce:

  • Property Division: Florida follows the principle of equitable distribution, meaning marital property (assets and debts acquired during the marriage) is divided fairly, though not necessarily equally, between the spouses. Non-marital property, such as assets owned before the marriage or inherited individually during the marriage, is typically not subject to division.
  • Alimony: Florida courts may award alimony (spousal support) to either spouse based on factors such as the duration of the marriage, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the financial resources and earning capacities of each spouse.
  • Child Custody and Support: In cases involving minor children, Florida courts prioritize the best interests of the children when determining custody (now called timesharing) and support arrangements. Both parents are expected to contribute financially to the support of their children, with child support amounts determined based on state guidelines.

At least one spouse must have resided in Florida for at least six months prior to filing for divorce.

Filing for Divorce in Florida

The divorce process in Florida typically involves several steps, which may vary depending on the circumstances of each case. Here's a general outline of the process:

  1. Filing the Petition: One spouse (the petitioner) initiates the divorce process by filing a petition for dissolution of marriage with the circuit court in the county where either spouse resides. The petition outlines the grounds for divorce and may include requests for issues such as child custody, child support, alimony, and division of property.
  2. Service of Process: After filing the petition, the petitioner must ensure that the other spouse (the respondent) is formally served with a copy of the petition and a summons, notifying them of the divorce proceedings. Service can be accomplished through personal delivery by a process server or sheriff, or through certified mail with return receipt requested.
  3. Response: The respondent has a certain period, typically 20 or 30 days, to file a response to the petition. In the response, the respondent can admit or deny the allegations in the petition and may also raise counterclaims or requests for relief.
  4. Discovery: Both spouses may engage in the discovery process, during which they exchange relevant information and documents related to the divorce, such as financial records, property valuations, and evidence of income.
  5. Mediation: Many Florida courts require divorcing spouses to attend mediation to attempt to resolve disputed issues such as property division, alimony, and child custody without the need for a trial. A neutral mediator facilitates discussions between the spouses to reach mutually acceptable agreements.
  6. Negotiation/Settlement: Throughout the divorce process, spouses may negotiate and attempt to reach agreements on issues such as property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. If the spouses are able to reach agreements on all issues, they can submit a written settlement agreement to the court for approval.
  7. Trial: If the spouses are unable to reach agreements on all issues, the case may proceed to trial, where a judge will hear evidence and arguments from both sides and make decisions on unresolved matters such as property division, alimony, and child custody.
  8. Final Judgment: Once all issues have been resolved, either through settlement or trial, the court will issue a final judgment of dissolution of marriage, formally terminating the marital relationship. The final judgment will address all matters agreed upon by the parties or decided by the court, including the division of assets and debts, alimony, child custody, and child support.
  9. Post-Divorce Matters: After the divorce is finalized, both spouses must comply with the terms of the final judgment. They may also need to take additional steps to implement certain aspects of the judgment, such as transferring property titles, updating beneficiary designations, and modifying support or custody arrangements if circumstances change in the future.

Throughout the divorce process, it's essential for both spouses to seek guidance from qualified legal professionals to ensure their rights and interests are protected.

Marital Versus Nonmarital Property

High net worth divorce issues can compound when highly valuable property and investments are concerned. A part of navigating these issues is differentiating between marital and nonmarital property. Unless a couple established a prenuptial agreement beforehand, marital property includes all assets, property, and debts acquired while married. As marital property belongs to both spouses it will be divided accordingly.

In Florida, marital property includes:

  • Income
  • Retirement accounts
  • Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds
  • 401(k)s, IRAs, profit-sharing accounts
  • Benefits

Nonmarital or separate property consists of assets, property, and debts acquired by each spouse before getting married.

In Florida, nonmarital property includes:

  • Assets, property, and debts defined in a legal written agreement, such as a premarital agreement
  • Income from separate property
  • Items exchanged for or purchased with separate property (re-write)
  • Gifts acquired during marriage

Can Separate Property Become Marital Property?

A spouse can gift separate property to a spouse, thus turning it into marital property, but change the title on the property to include the other spouse’s name as well. This is called a transmutation of property.

If the value of separate property increases due to the efforts and/or contributions of both spouses, this will be considered marital property as the spouses used their financial means to increase the value of the property.

A spouse can also commingle or mix up marital and separate property by doing one of the following acts:

  • Depositing marital funds into a premarital bank account
  • Pay the mortgage on a separate property with marital earnings

Don't Leave Your Financial Future to Chance

Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, especially when it comes to dividing marital assets. It's important to understand the laws and regulations surrounding property division in order to protect your financial future. Our West Palm Beach divorce attorneys have extensive experience in handling high-asset divorces and can help you navigate the complexities of property division.

Our team can assist with:

  • Identifying and valuing all assets, including real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and business interests
  • Determining which assets are considered marital property and which are separate property
  • Negotiating a fair and equitable division of assets
  • Protecting your pre-marital assets and inheritance
  • Ensuring that any agreements or court orders regarding property division are enforceable

Don't leave your financial future to chance. Contact Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A. today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced divorce lawyers in West Palm Beach.

What Can Be Used Against You In a Divorce?

If you're considering a divorce, it's important to understand what could be used against you during the proceedings. Many people mistakenly believe that if they have nothing to hide, they don't need to worry about what their spouse might say or use against them. However, even if you feel that you have nothing to hide, there are still many things that could be used against you during the divorce process.

For example, if you have ever made a purchase on credit, your spouse could use that against you. They could claim that you're irresponsible with money and try to get a larger share of the assets in the divorce. Or, if you have ever had an argument with your spouse, they could use that against you by claiming that you were abusive in the marriage.

Something that may seem completely innocent can actually be used against you in a divorce. If you ever made a joke about getting divorced, your spouse could even use that against you by claiming that you're not committed to the marriage.

The best way to protect yourself from having anything used against you in a divorce is to hire a reputable attorney. A divorce attorney will know how to protect your rights and help you get the best possible outcome in your divorce. If you're considering a divorce, don't go through it alone - hire a divorce lawyer to help you protect your rights.

Contact Us to Speak with a West Palm Beach Divorce Lawyer

Your financial future is a priority to us, whether negotiating a divorce agreement, establishing child custody, or resolving a paternity case, we are committed to your success. Our divorce firm in West Palm Beach has garnered the respect and esteem of A-list clients, celebrities, professional athletes, and business professionals in West Palm Beach and surrounding areas. We would be honored to support you through this life transition.

In any divorce or child custody case, no matter how simple or complex, obtaining knowledgeable legal counsel and representation from a divorce lawyer is essential. Early intervention is key. A proper understanding of the laws and procedures governing divorce and child custody in Florida can prevent many legal blunders at the outset. The best family law and divorce lawyer during such a difficult time is Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A. Our reputation for uncompromising honesty, empathy, communication, hard work, and well-renowned success in family law cases makes us a top choice for legal representation in West Palm Beach.

At Sasser, Cestero & Roy, P.A. we are proud to offer confidential, professional legal counsel for sensitive, high-risk cases.

Contact our office or call us at (561) 693-1241 to schedule a confidential consultation with a divorce attorney in West Palm Beach. Hablamos español.

You Don't Have to Come Into the Office for a Fresh Start

Have questions about how the works? Give us a call or fill out a form to speak with an attorney.

Contact Us

Schedule Your Private Consultation
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.

Submitting your information does not create an attorney-client relationship