Redlands High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers
Having a high net worth has numerous advantages, but it also means that you must take special measures to protect the assets you have accumulated. In a divorce, protecting your share of the marital estate requires an attorney with the experience and reputation to identify and pursue the assets you are entitled to under California law.
Bowler and Bowler has been protecting the rights of individuals in divorce for 48+ years. The firm is experienced in the intricacies of family law, divorces of all types including high net worth couples and high-profile cases. They understand the financial aspects of divorce and clients’ concerns about privacy. You can rely on the firm to assist you with all of your legal needs during this time, including contesting or defending prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, unmarried couples, child custody, and financial matters of child and spousal support.
Marital Assets You Need To Document for the Divorce
California is a community property state, so it is important to determine what counts as marital property as quickly as possible. Every family’s situation is different, but the following rules generally apply.
The first is that assets and debts individuals bring into the marriage tend to belong to the respective individuals as separate property. Secondly, assets and debts obtained throughout the marriage are presumptively community property. Finally, California generally makes exceptions for gifts and inherited property that went to one specific party. Sometimes, the courts also make exceptions for assets and debts owned in just one person’s name.
With this in mind, you can now begin to gather the documents for the assets of the marital estate such as these:
- Real Estate: The primary home, vacation home and investment properties may be community property or may have become community property due to transactions during the marriage. Sometimes, these will need to be sold to ensure an equal division.
- Investments: If you own stocks, bonds and mutual funds, your partner may become entitled to a share of these as well. Many times, it is possible to transfer ownership without selling.
- Retirement Accounts: Retirement savings are also community property to the extent they were accumulated or earned during the marriage..
- Business: Whether it is a partnership or corporation, the court may order the division of this asset. People often sell a business, transfer shares or buy out the other partner.
A High Net Worth Calls for Special Considerations
Here are some of the factors that your attorney will give special consideration.
- Multiple Sources of Income: Over the years, you have probably acquired money through various avenues and bought several assets. Accounting for them all may prove difficult. Working with an experienced attorney and your accountant or financial advisor can help.
- Career Success: When one spouse supports the other through school, gives up a career to travel with the career-driven spouse or stays home to care for children, those sacrifices contribute to the other person’s success. Courts take this into consideration when determining the way forward.
- Overseas Assets: If one spouse conducts businesses overseas or owns assets overseas, it can complicate the division of assets. Discovery and disclosure of such assets is an essential function in the quest to properly identify and divide the community property estate.
- Infidelity: Despite California being a no fault state, there are times when marital conduct creates issues the court must deal with. Such may include the impact on child custody and may unveil the misappropriation of community assets.
- Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: If you have a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement, it may determine or significantly impact the outcome of the subsequent divorce. The very validity of the agreement is often a threshold issue that must be resolved before determining its impact.
- Privacy Concerns: Privacy is especially important in sensitive family law issues. Redlands and Inland Empire communities such as San Bernardino become small worlds in a divorce. Our attorneys work with you to ensure your divorce proceedings remain as confidential as possible.
Protecting Your Financial Future With Regard to Spousal Support
When it comes to the financial aspects of divorce, one of the most highly contested is spousal support referred to by many as alimony. In addition to the division of assets, the attorneys will represent you in negotiations or litigation regarding spousal support. Whether you are the party who will be paying or receiving support, it is important for the payments to be fair. When one party in the divorce has more assets or a higher income, the other party will need financial support to become self-sufficient.
In a high net worth divorce, the standard of living during the marriage is often a more highly contested matter in determining spousal support than it is in other divorces. Our firm will be prepared to defend your position and obtain an agreement that meets your needs now and in the future.
Fair Considerations for the Supporting Party
When one household shares an income, it stretches much further than when it supports two separate households. California courts take this into consideration when determining how to come up with a number that suits both parties but allows a lifestyle similar to what the payer enjoyed during the marriage.
Breadwinners often feel guilty about the end of their marriage, particularly if their actions contributed to it. This can cause higher earners to simply let things go and allow the more dependent partners to take whatever they want. While this impulse might come from a place of compassion, it could come back to haunt the breadwinner later in life. Fairness should benefit both parties for the foreseeable future.
Fair Considerations for the Supported Party
When one spouse does not earn an income outside of the home or makes significantly less than the other spouse, it is only natural to worry about the financial future. Dependent spouses need to ensure they have the financial assistance they need to get back on their feet while they adjust to a new life without the breadwinner.
Dependent spouses often play more of a submissive role in a marriage and may not feel comfortable fighting for the spousal support they deserve. It is natural to feel this way, but financial stability for the road ahead is important. If there are children who will remain with the dependent spouse, this becomes even more crucial. Otherwise, the children share in the consequences of the lowered income.
Contact an Attorney Who Understands Your Needs
The more assets involved in your divorce, the more important it is that you work with an attorney with experience handling complex cases. To schedule an appointment, please contact the firm online or call our Redlands office at 909-335-4848.