Every person must carefully consider their options regarding their financial situation, especially couples going through a high asset divorce. If you have a substantial amount of assets, multiple properties, business assets, and other large financial assets, the legal process can become increasingly difficult. Here are some things to consider as you begin the process of a high asset divorce.
California is a Community Property State
Because community property laws are implemented in California, all assets acquired during the marriage are considered community property. This means that property is equally divided among spouses.
Examples of assets include:
- Business relationships
- Business developments
- Other intangible assets worth value
- Property and real estate
- Vehicles, boats, planes
- Art collections
- Pension plans and retirement benefits
- Account receivables
- Any other material asset that the couple owns
Any property obtained prior to marriage is considered separate property and is not included in the division of assets. However, if separate assets were used to increase the marital property’s value, they may be considered “commingled” and subject to property division.
Skilled Legal Counsel is a Must
The more assets a couple owns, the more complicated it will be to split them up in a divorce. Since there is more to divide, high net worth couples are keen to become more emotional in the process. Thus, making them less likely to come to an agreement. Due to this, reliable representation is essential to protect your property and receive a fair and equitable settlement.
The first thing you should do if you are involved in a high asset divorce is to retain an experienced Carlsbad divorce attorney. A lawyer will be able to advise you on how to proceed with property division matters like negotiations and settlements.
Some ways a high asset divorce lawyer can help you include:
- Provide resources to find all of your assets - including those that may be hidden
- Distinguish which assets are marital property and which are separate property
- Determine the monetary value of all assets
- Divide up shared interests in a business
- Transfer assets
In a high-asset divorce, you are likely to work with more than one attorney on your case. You might need to have a whole team of attorneys and other experts, including a forensic evaluator. The expert will be able to go through your business finances to determine which parts are separate property and which ones are divisible. You will need these full-time experts to evaluate and ensure that everything is divided accordingly and that you are given a chance to retain the property rightfully yours.
The Timeline May Take Longer
While most people just want to move on with their lives and try to get through their divorce as quickly as possible, it’s not as likely to happen in a high asset divorce. This occurs because of several reasons. First, many couples have a hard time agreeing to settlements and can go back and forth between negotiations for months.
Another reason is due to the fact that a lot of time and resources will be dedicated solely to collecting information on valuing complex assets. All significant property will need to be accurately assessed by expert appraisers, valuators, and forensic accountants.
It's important that this step is done correctly, which can extend the divorce process. However, by doing so each party will receive their fair share in the settlement. If you try to rush through proceedings in a high asset divorce, you might find yourself losing your most important life assets.
Your Lifestyle Might Change
In a high-asset divorce, you will need to consider how your standard of living will be different once assets have been divided. You might have to make significant lifestyle adjustments after your everything has been split, including any losses that you may have incurred during legal proceedings and whether you will be receiving or paying alimony. In either case, your income stream and net worth will be different, and you might need to be prepared to make some changes once the divorce is finalized.
We Can Guide You to a New Beginning
While it’s important to understand the divorce process and how property division works, seeking out experienced legal counsel is one of the most important things you can do. With a Carlsbad family law attorney assisting you through your high asset divorce you reduce the risk of making catastrophic mistakes.
The attorneys at Griffith Young & Lass are dedicated to providing sound legal advice to those through the often emotional and overwhelming process of getting a divorce. We truly understand how difficult this time is, which is why we care about every aspect of your divorce. From beginning to end, we want to help you obtain the best possible results so have the tools you need to successfully move on in the next chapter of your life.
If you have questions or concerns regarding your high asset divorce, please do not hesitate to call our compassionate attorneys today at (858) 371-5569.