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San Bernardino High-Net Worth Divorce Attorney

July 19, 2020

Complicated Property Division Disputes

Have you and your spouse accumulated significant investments and assets in your portfolio? Do you hold numerous pieces of real estate, have a large and diverse stock and bond portfolio, and share interests in businesses and franchises? If this describes your financial picture, then filing for a divorce can be the beginning in a complicated property division dispute. To come out of this kind of situation successfully, you are going to need the help of an experienced San Bernardino high net worth divorce attorney. The right attorney is going to help you zero in on what you want and deserve to get out of your divorce.  Your high-net worth divorce attorney will fight to protect your financial interests.


There is so much more at hanging in the balance in a high-net worth divorce. Because of the complexity of the property appraisal and distribution requirements, it is that much easier to make errors that can affect you for the rest of your days. It’s critical that you bring in an attorney who has a deep understanding of how to attack and smooth out the most convoluted financial matters. In actuality, any Certified Family Law Specialist worth his or her salt should be able to help you to navigate your complicated property division dispute based on a great deal of experience with high-net worth divorces. He or she will be dedicated to safeguarding your rights and securing the outcome you want. Reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.


Identifying and Categorizing the Separate and Community  Property in a High-Net Worth divorce

In the course of a high-net worth divorce, it is important to make absolutely sure that all property interests are disclosed by each spouse. At the time that you file for divorce, you will face the task of making a comprehensive list of all the property and debts to be considered. This list needs to show any and all separate property that you own by yourself, in addition to any property that you own together with your spouse.


In California state, separate property generally speaks of assets and debts that you had by yourself from before the marriage.  This is restricted to those items that you did not later convert to community property in marriage. Conversely, community property would be all the assets and debts obtained by either spouse or by the spouses together after the wedding. The comprehensive property list needs to include earned income, jointly owned business enterprise or interests, investment accounts, retirement benefits, and more. Generally speaking, everything that either spouse gets inside the confines of a marriage is classified as community property.

Knowledge of the distinction between separate property and community property is critical. At times, the correct classification of certain assets or debts can be a topic for debate. When high-value assets are being discussed, spouses often vehemently disagree over the appropriate classification. As a general rule, spouses both partake in an equal interest in every asset and debt that falls into the community property grouping. A spouse who is not willing to share a specific asset may fight vigorously to have that asset declared as separate property. In these squabbles, it is important for you to have the assistance and guidance of an attorney who is well acquainted with the complexities of California property division procedures. Making certain that all of your assets get classified the right way is the first step in achieving the outcome you desire at the end of your high-net worth divorce.


Why Do High-Net Worth Divorces Tend to Be So Complicated?

The reality is that any divorce can become complicated. A divorce will not be finalized until the spouses have come up with a way to see eye to eye on a multitude of issues, including the custody of their child or children, child support payments, and spousal support.  Both spouses also have to come to a conclusion as to how to split up their marital assets. Divvying up assets can be difficult even when spouses don’t have so many assets to their name. In dissolution proceedings where you and your spouse have significant portfolio interests and assets, coming to an agreement on the way in which those assets should be divided can become that much more stressful.


The problem is not only that you have many assets that are high in value to your name.  Oftentimes, trouble occurs in that you jointly hold some assets that can be difficult to value and, if necessary, liquidate. Barring your signing of a prenuptial agreement that already dictates how your assets are to be divided in the event of a divorce, each spouse has a right to claim half of all the marital property. Placing a value to those assets can be half the battle.

Property interests that make a high-net worth divorce more complex include:

  • Ownership interests in businesses that is not family-owned
  • Partnership interests
  • Commercial and/or residential real estate
  • Family business interests
  • Investments
  • Offshore accounts
  • Retirement benefits (e.g., Pensions, IRAs, 401(k) plans, profit sharing, stock options)
  • Inheritance
  • Trusts
  • Intellectual property (e.g., patents)
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
  • Family houses, boats and vehicles, and
  • Other high-value assets, such as artwork

The single most effective way to make certain that your assets are valued properly is by enlisting the assistance of reputable financial experts and advisors. The right San Bernardino high-net worth divorce attorney will have nurtured relationships and accumulated the contact details, with some of the top forensic accountants and financial advisors in the greater San Bernardino area. Your attorney will work collaboratively with these experts to analyze, audit, and assess all of your property interests.

Sustaining Your Customary Standard of Living After your High-Net Worth divorce

If you and your spouse possessed considerable assets, you probably lived a rather comfortable lifestyle. Upon getting a divorce, you have a right to sustain the standard of living to which you became accustomed while you were married. If you are the spouse who earns the higher income, then it won’t be a problem for you to sustain your lifestyle. On the other side of the coin, if you earn significantly less money than your spouse, you might suddenly find that it is an up hill battle to sustain your standard of living. Under these circumstances, spousal support can be awarded to smooth out your adjustment to life as a newly single person.

Spousal support can be awarded in any case where there are discrepancies between each spouse’s financial needs and their income. By and large, if one spouse brings in a lower salary than the other, then they can ask for and secure a spousal support payment. This is a fact even if the lower earning spouse continues to earn a significantly high salary or has substantial financial concerns of his or her own. The fact is that the interests just may not be sufficient to allow that spouse to carry on living the high-net worth life they enjoyed before divorce.

Spousal support is arrived at by a calculation that encompasses a variety of factors.  The factors that need to be reviewed include income, assets, ability to earn money, health, and financial requirements. It can be given either temporarily or permanently. In general, the longer the marriage lasted, the longer a spouse can receive get alimony payments. Those payments, nevertheless, will no longer be available if the receiving spouse remarries or is somehow rendered incapable of supporting themselves without help.



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~ Francis Anim

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