Divorces are often complex and emotionally trying, even when the couple has mutually and amicably agreed to end the marriage. Separating your life from your spouse’s when you have spent years, potentially even decades, together can be a difficult task that is likely to hit a few delicate situations. These problems can be compounded in a divorce where the couple has significant assets to separate.
High-net-worth divorces are often plagued with complications that require advanced knowledge to navigate effectively. Moranda Law Firm, APC, is familiar with helping our Anaheim, CA clients through their divorce, even in cases that require extreme care.
Some of the assets that must be separated in a high-net-worth divorce are similar to those in more typical divorces, but the volume is dramatically increased in these more complex divorces. Generally, this type of divorce will involve a collection of assets that have a value of one million dollars or more. Some of the assets that must be divided in a high-net-worth divorce include:
One of the most important steps in creating an equal division of these assets is determining their monetary value. This is likely to require hiring a third-party assessor to provide an objective evaluation that may consider the relative value of similar assets, the market price of the asset, and the breadth of the market.
In high-net-worth divorces, one of the most complicated parts can be determining how to divide the property. There are two types of property under California law:
Complications arise when the property cannot be easily determined as separate or community. When an asset is considered separate property and community property, commingling has occurred. The asset is not easily separated because it is considered both types of property. An example would be a down payment on the family home: one spouse uses money earned prior to the marriage as a down payment on a home, but the mortgage payments were made during the marriage. The down payment is considered separate property, but the equity gained in the home is considered joint property.
An experienced attorney can help you determine the value of community and commingled assets, helping you leave your marriage with all the assets that you are owed.
The attorney that you choose to retain during your divorce is a crucial decision to make. Not only can they affect the total outcome of your divorce, but they can also affect how you feel during the process.
While interviewing potential attorneys, consider how you feel while speaking with each and if you believe you can comfortably progress through your divorce with them. Their communication style should also match yours — do you prefer emails for convenience or instant messaging to save time? The attorney should also clearly explain information so that you understand it.
The attorney’s philosophy should also be considered: is the attorney’s goal to win at any cost, or are they more interested in negotiation and settlement? Their attitude toward this process should match yours. Even in situations where you are willing to negotiate, the attorney must be ready to aggressively defend you in court if required.
A: In many ways, a high-net-worth divorce is similar to typical divorces in California, but there are a few key differences. Property division may take longer as you wait for professional appraisals, and dividing the assets may also be more complex. There may also be a deviation in child support and alimony determinations, as a computer program generally sets these amounts. A judge may alter the payment amounts if the computer program returns a value that outweighs the need.
A: Separate property belongs to only a single spouse and is not subject to property division in a divorce unless it has commingled in the marriage and is now partially considered marital property. Marital property belongs to both spouses equally and must be divided 50/50 during a divorce.
A: The spouses must decide how they intend to move forward with that business post-divorce. In many instances, the spouses do not wish to remain co-business owners. When this occurs, the spouse that is getting the business must compensate the other spouse by buying them out or receiving less marital property.
A: The total cost of a divorce depends on many factors, including attorney fees, court costs, how many complicating factors are in the divorce, and if the divorce was contested or uncontested. Though a divorce with high-value assets is likely to cost more than a divorce without these complicating factors, the cost can be reduced by avoiding litigation.
With a history of obtaining results based on our client’s needs and the facts of the case, the team at Moranda Law Firm, APC, is committed to providing the personalized attention each client deserves. If you are facing a high-net-worth divorce, reach out to our office today.