Redlands Divorce Lawyers
Dividing marital property in a community property state can be challenging under any circumstances, but when the marital estate includes sophisticated assets, the process is more difficult. If you have complex assets, your lawyer must have the experience to value and divide them accurately.
Bowler and Bowler has the resources and experienced attorneys you need in a high net worth divorce. In complex property division, the firm works with forensic accountants, business valuators and appraisers to locate and value assets. The attorneys can also identify hidden assets and file temporary financial restraining orders when appropriate. Whether the property division is settled via negotiation or goes to trial, you will have a legal team led by a board-certified family law specialist.
Preparing for Factors That Complicate Property Division
Identifying what may cause complications during the property division process is a good first step to prepare for what lies ahead. Each Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside or other Inland Empire community divorce case is different, but here are some of the main complications we have encountered:
- Financial Entanglements: After years of marriage, California couples often lose track of who paid for what and finances intermingle. This becomes especially difficult to determine if both parties work and there were no clear rules about who paid for what.
- Spousal Contributions: Dividing up California property becomes tricky when it turns out one spouse helped pay for something else. For instance, a wife may have financially supported her husband while he earned a college degree, but now he out-earns her.
- Business Partnerships: Whether the couple owns a business together in San Bernardino or one person is a partner in another business, it can lead to complications. One spouse could find that the other suddenly becomes a partner in their business.
- Existing Spousal Support: If one spouse has an existing spousal support order in place, it may limit what the new spouse is able to claim because a portion of the income already goes to someone else.
- Existing Child Support: The same problem exists when the spouse who ordered to pay spousal support has an existing child support order from a prior relationship. Disclosing the exact dollar value becomes important.
- Multiple Income Streams: When saving for retirement and trying to gain a financial footing, you may lose track of the many investments you acquired over the years. You may also have a difficult time tracking your income streams. An accountant or financial advisor could be able to help.
Are You Seeking Or Contesting Spousal Support?
One of the most common questions we get from people seeking or contesting spousal support is how the courts calculate this. California courts take the following factors into consideration:
- The income each party requires to maintain the standard of living they became accustomed to during the marriage
- Whether one spouse helped the other to obtain a college degree, professional license or professional training
- Whether one spouse made career sacrifices, whether willingly or incidentally, to care for children or the home
- Whether any instances of domestic violence took place in the marriage or domestic partnership
- How long both parties have been married or in a domestic partnership
- How the new tax laws affect the way spousal support is reported by either party
How To Prepare for an Amicable Property Division
Generally speaking, the more amicable both parties remain during the divorce process, the better deal both can walk away with. When tempers rise and discontentment follows, people become more likely to look out for only themselves. Fighting over who gets what can also lead to longer divorce processes and California court battles. The cost of this can add up, which then cuts into the money the couple could have shared among themselves instead. Here are some of the many ways you can prepare for the task ahead.
1. Seek Counseling
Divorce is a big, life-changing process. The longer you had remained married to your partner, the more difficult single life may become, even if it looked tempting from a distance. Talking through some of the issues that arise in therapy individually or even as a couple can help to keep things on the straight and narrow and prepare you for what lies ahead.
2. Hire an Attorney
Many people start the divorce process believing it will be simple. They make an offer. The spouse signs the paperwork and everyone moves on. However, if the spouse disagrees with the proposal or hires a lawyer, things may not go as smoothly as planned. Speaking with an attorney from the start can help ensure you follow the right steps to protect yourself and your assets.
3. Consider the Kids
Sometimes parents become so caught up in the difficulties of a failing marriage that they forget the impact their relationship has on their kids. Most psychologists recommend keeping it together for the sake of the children. This does not mean remaining together. It does mean remaining amicable if you decide a divorce is the best option for the path ahead. Considering the children and the spouse who will care for them also makes it easier to compromise for their wellbeing.
4. Gather Paperwork
When filing for divorce, collecting all the paperwork you can get your hands on is important. Look for the mortgage contract and the title documents related to the house in Redlands, San Bernardino, Riverside or elsewhere. Dust off the tax returns for the past few years. Download the annual reports from your investment accounts. Proper documentation makes your attorney’s work a lot easier.
Talk With a Trusted Ally in Redlands Today
If you have concerns about protecting your assets in a California divorce, our attorneys are here for you. To arrange your confidential consultation, contact our Redlands law offices online or by telephone at 909-335-4848.