Redlands Complex Property Division Attorneys
If you are a resident of Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside or other Inland Empire communities, facing a high-net-worth divorce, you also face complex property division. This can be a daunting prospect, but you can rely on the experience of an attorney who will guide you and protect your interests throughout the entire process. At Bowler and Bowler, we offer knowledgeable, compassionate and personalized representation. Our lawyers help professionals, business owners, athletes and other high-net-worth individuals navigate the often-precarious landscape of divorce and focus on obtaining the best outcome possible for the all-important property division phase of the process. When appropriate, we bring in professionals including forensic accountants, appraisers and business valuators to ensure that all marital assets are accounted for and properly valued.
Community Property in California
Although California is a community property state, marital property will not always be split in half during a divorce, especially in a case where significant assets are involved. There are many facts and circumstances that create a community property interest in the other spouse’s separate property or where seemingly community property has been transmuted. Issues of reimbursements and credits impact this as well.
The Division of Property
You may have various kinds of assets to divide:
- Businesses, professional practices and closely held corporations
- Stock options
- Retirement accounts and insurance policies
- Real property: the marital home, vacation homes, ranches and land
- High-end vehicles
- Valuable personal property including art, antiques and collectibles
The list may be especially long in a high-net-worth divorce and the distribution process takes time since a value must be placed on every asset. Your attorney will use lists both you and your spouse provide to ensure that all marital property is out on the table.
Separate Versus Marital Property
Even in a community property state like California where the law stipulates that marital property be split fifty-fifty, there are always exceptions. Although neither you nor your spouse will likely come away with everything on your wish list, a fair division is the court’s priority. Marital property includes everything acquired during your marriage. Separate property is yours alone, as per these definitions:
- Any property you owned prior to your marriage, including any profit you received subject to exceptions
- Property you either inherited or received as a gift while you were married, including any profit gained from it subject to exceptions
- Any income or wealth you acquired after you and your spouse were legally separated and living apart from one another
The court also considers transmutation, which refers to the transforming of separate property into community property or vice-versa. However, to be effective, transmutation must be in writing. For example, you might have owned a Redlands or San Bernardino rental unit as a single person, then decided to include your spouse on the title after you married. The rental was transformed into community property once the two of you became co-owners. Your Bowler and Bowler divorce lawyer can help you understand the differences concerning separate versus marital property.
The Fate of Your Business
Perhaps you and your spouse built a business together in Redlands or San Bernardino or worked hard to continue the success of a well-established family enterprise. The fate of your business will become a focal point during property division. You have a decision to make: You can put the business on the market and split the profits with your spouse, you can buy your spouse’s interest in the business or sell your own interest, or you can continue as partners if you believe you can go on working together despite the divorce.
If you decide to sell or perform a buyout, you will need a business appraiser to place a value on the company. The lawyers at Bowler and Bowler are highly experienced with the disposition of businesses and professional practices as the result of divorce and can ensure that your interests are protected no matter what kind of transaction you choose.
A Look at Accrued Leave or Vacation Time
If you are an employee with accrued leave or vested vacation time, you may wonder whether this falls under the category of assets that are subject to division in a divorce. Vacation time earned during your marriage is considered community property and subject to division. Sick and other leave present special issues that require an understanding of the leave policy. Our attorneys are skilled in assessing these issues and making sure your property rights are fully protected.
The Path to a Brighter Future
Your California divorce is unique. The focus of your attorney at Bowler and Bowler will be on helping you acclimate to ending one stage of your life with personal success and entering the next with confidence. A secure future begins with making your divorce as easy as possible and streamlining the process of complex property division. Whether you are a resident of Redlands, San Bernardino or another location in or around the Inland Empire, our lawyers are here for you. To arrange a confidential consultation, please contact our Redlands law offices online or phone us at 909-335-4848.