Issues of property division may be sensitive in any divorce, but these issues may be particularly complex in high-asset divorces. If you are going through a high-asset divorce, you should reach out to a skilled San Diego divorce attorney who can help protect your property rights. Roseline D. Feral can work closely with accountants, appraisers, and other financial experts to properly identify all of the assets in your case and determine a legal strategy that leads you toward a stable financial future.Pursuing a High-Asset Divorce in Southern California
An important step in a high-asset divorce is correctly identifying and valuing assets such as income, real estate, businesses, international assets, retirement accounts, pensions, valuable personal property (such as jewels, art, or antiques), offshore accounts, stocks, and any other investments that may be relevant to determining a couple’s overall net worth. Additionally, your attorney will investigate all of the relevant financial documents to uncover any hidden assets.
Once the assets have been identified and valued, it is important to categorize them as either community property or separate property. California is a community property state. This means that any income, assets, or debts that were accrued throughout the marriage until the date of separation belong equally to both spouses. Since community property belongs to both spouses, it must be divided 50/50 at the time of divorce. This does not mean that each asset needs to be individually divided in half. Instead, it means that each spouse should walk away with half of the value of the total assets.
On the other hand, separate property is property that a spouse owned prior to the marriage or acquired through gift or inheritance. Separate property may also include any asset that is specifically designated as separate property in an agreement by the spouses. Since this type of property belongs solely to one spouse, it is not subject to division at the time of a divorce.
The larger the estate, the more challenging that property division issues may be. High net worth individuals often have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements. If these agreements are valid, they will affect the division of property in the divorce. If there are no agreements governing property division, spouses are free to divide their assets as they choose. Under California law, if the spouses reach an agreement, that agreement may be put into writing in the form of a Marital Settlement Agreement, which both parties will sign. This agreement is then approved by the court and incorporated into the Final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage issued by the Superior Court. If the spouses cannot come to an agreement, however, the court has the authority to divide the property.Discuss Your Property Division Concerns with a San Diego Attorney
At the Law Offices of Roseline D. Feral, we understand the unique challenges that may arise in a high-asset divorce. If you are going through this type of divorce, it is important to reach out to a property division lawyer who can help protect both your short-term and long-term financial interests. San Diego attorney Roseline D. Feral represents people in Chula Vista, Coronado, Del Mar, Carlsbad, Encinitas, La Jolla, Oceanside, Escondido, Ramona, Rancho Santa Fe, San Marcos, Valley Center, and Vista, among other Southern California cities. To learn more about your legal rights and options, contact us online or call our office at 619-232-1010 for a free consultation, or you can call Attorney Feral directly at 619-301-1191.