Los Angeles High Asset Divorce Lawyer
Representing the Rights of Individuals Involved in Divorce where Significant Assets are Involved
Spouses often accumulate a variety of valuable assets over the
course of their marriage. These assets may include pricey homes, motor vehicles, stocks, bonds, and business ventures.
When spouses decide to end their marriage, a fair and equitable distribution of property acquired during the course of the marriage usually becomes an issue.
If you are in the midst of a divorce involving a substantial amount of marital property or marital debt, it is essential that you seek out the services of an experienced high asset divorce attorney. Our experienced Los Angeles high asset divorce attorneys have the necessary legal knowledge and skills to assist you with fairly and equitably dividing marital assets and/or with resolving a dispute about the distribution of marital property post-divorce.
Community Property Versus Individual Property
California is a ‘community property' state. This means that when two people marry, they are effectively merged into one legal ‘community.' California considers all assets acquired by one or both parties over the course of a marriage ‘community property.' Community property can include some or all of the following assets acquired during the course of the marriage – many of which have a high monetary value associated with them:
- Motor Vehicles
- Bank accounts
- Business Entities
It is also important to note that debts acquired by one or both spouses over the course of a marriage are considered ‘community debt.
On the other hand, California courts consider gifts or inheritances made to one spouse during the marriage (or assets acquired by a spouse prior to the marriage) as ‘separate property' or ‘individual property.
Division of Community Property
Under California law, each spouse owns one-half of the community property acquired over the course of the marriage. Similarly, each spouse is responsible for one-half of the community debt acquired over the course of the marriage.
Parties may be able to agree on an equitable distribution of marital assets (as well as marital debts) acquired over the course of their marriage. When parties are able to reach an agreement on their own – or at mediation – that agreement is memorialized in writing and is incorporated into a final divorce decree which is signed by a judge.
When the parties cannot agree on how to distribute marital assets and debts, then a court must decide the dispute. Keep in mind that divorce litigation is expensive and that once a family law judge decides a particular dispute, the parties must live with that decision. Oftentimes, the parties themselves are in the best position to decide a marital property/debt dispute in a high asset divorce case.
Special Considerations in a High Asset Divorce
There are certain issues that can make a high-asset divorce much more complicated than those involving couples of more modest means. For one thing, when there are assets of significant value at stake, the overall dispute can be much more contentious. In addition, certain assets, such as a closely-held business, may be more valuable to the parties as a going concern that it would if it were liquidated. To further complicate matters, if one party wanted to “buy out” the other party's business interest, it would become necessary to determine the value of the business, which is generally a very complex process.
Some of the other types of property that may present issues in a high-asset divorce include the following:
- Fine Art
- Inheritances or gifts that have been commingled with marital property
- Art Collections
- Musical instruments
- Investment portfolios
- Future options
When these types of assets are at issue, the way they are handled in a divorce can have significant tax consequences and may result in a substantial loss of value. As a result, it is important for anyone involved in a high asset divorce to speak to an attorney familiar with these concerns and who has experience representing high-net-worth individuals involved in divorce. We can also help you with changing your name during or after a divorce.
Contact a Los Angeles High Asset Divorce Attorney
If you are involved in a high asset divorce or believe you may be soon, you need experienced legal representation on your side. Our experienced Los Angeles high asset divorce lawyers understand the special concerns involved in these types of divorce and have the skill and experience required to resolve your case as favorably as possible. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call Furman & Zavatsky today at 818-528-3471.