Physician Divorce: Challenges & Solutions
In many ways, the divorce process is the same for everybody in Florida. But high net-worth individuals and small business owners face certain pitfalls, which can make their divorces more complicated. Without the right attorney, you could lose much more than a spouse in a divorce.
At Caroline Olson, P.A., our Jupiter divorce lawyers can ease the divorce process while protecting your business and reputation in the process. Contact us today to discuss where to start with an experienced Jupiter divorce attorney.
Protecting Patient Confidentiality
Powerful federal laws limit the disclosure of protected health information to third parties. Doctors and other health professionals must follow HIPAA regs at work, and their obligations continue even during the divorce process. Violations can lead to sanctions and, in extreme cases, criminal prosecution.
During a divorce, your spouse might claim that your practice is marital property which is subject to equitable distribution. You might need to turn over business records and files to your spouse’s lawyer and his or her accountant so they can try to value your practice. Although you should never turn over patient files, some patient information might accidentally end up in the mix.
It is vital to protect confidentiality in the process, which might require signing non-disclosure agreements. Your attorney might also request that certain records be sealed (since divorce is a public process). If you neglect these steps, confidential information could be released.
Keeping Your Medical Practice
As mentioned above, your medical practice might be considered marital property, especially if you started it after marriage or if it grew while you were married. Consequently, your spouse might be entitled to a share of the equity.
Many doctors are shocked to find that a non-doctor spouse could become part owner of the practice. Fortunately, there are ways to keep the practice in one piece. For example, your spouse might get an off-setting amount of other marital property, like investment or retirement accounts, so you can exit the marriage with 100% of your practice.
When two doctors are married, dividing the practice is especially hard. Many questions crop up. Who gets to keep the staff? Who needs to move? How do you divide patients? We can walk you through all the considerations and come up with solutions that work.
Maximizing Parenting Time
Doctors work punishing hours, but many are happy to do so out of devotion to their patients and a desire to provide for their families. When it comes to divorce, however, a judge will look at the quality of your relationship with your children. If you were working all hours of the day, you might be setting yourself up for less parenting time than you would like.
We can help our physician clients document their ongoing, strong bond with their children. We will also advise you about whether you should cut back on your hours and whether you should move out of the family home.
Staying on Track Financially
Many doctors take their investments seriously and have detailed plans for their retirement. Divorce can derail even the most carefully laid plans. Our firm is experienced at working with investment advisors and accountants to help minimize the financial disruption as much as possible.
Contact a Jupiter Divorce Lawyer Today
Our firm is proud to represent medical professionals, and we can meet to discuss where you are on the divorce path. Contact us today at the office of Caroline Olson, P.A. to schedule a free consultation. We have assisted clients in Jupiter, Boca Raton and Plantation.