A high-asset divorce can be an extremely complicated process that differs from a standard divorce process in California. When you accumulate assets over time in a marriage, it’s essential to understand your rights and know the facts. Since California is a community property state, this means that all assets (tangible and intangible) that are acquired during the marriage are considered community property that is divided equally between both spouses.
What to Know About High-Asset Divorce in California
Examples of intangible assets
- Business relationships
- Unique skills
- Product development ability
- Business development in progress
- Many others
Examples of tangible assets
- Account receivables
Cases regarding large businesses and assets generally require detailed accounting and valuation. Depending on the details of your asset, your lawyer will be able to determine if this is community property or separate property. According to a high-asset divorce attorney in San Diego, Tara Yelman, community property is any property acquired during a marriage. Separate property can be categorized as anything given as a gift or inherited. Additionally, it can be personal injury damage or post-separation income. A family law attorney can help categorize what asset is considered community property or separate property. There are three basic approaches to measuring assets in a high-complex divorce case: asset, income, and market.
Marital Estate Division of Property
Property appraisals are critical in complex divorce cases that involve a marital estate because the estate will be divided equally between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse. There are several websites that can help you determine the value of a property. These are sites that are permitted to be used in court, but they may help give you an estimate on the value of your home. Another way to determine property value is to have a real estate agent run a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) on your estate. Since the value of a property can fluctuate, it’s imperative to have the most up-to-date dollar value on your property appraisal. In some cases, spouses may come to an agreement on the value of a marital property, which can save time and money.
Types of Common Valuables in a High-Asset Divorce
- Art collections
- Cars, boats, planes, other vehicles
- Real estate
- Business or professional practices
- Pension plans and retirement benefits
- Vacation property
- Insurance policies
Think About Your Next Steps
Many people want to get over the hurdle of separation as quickly as possible. One important step in this process is planning for the future of your divorce and taking the necessary steps to ensure the best financial results possible.
- Division of debt and other assets
- Determining the standard of living (can include spousal support and child support)
- Seeking a division of debts
- Transferring assets (can include: 401k, retirement plan, or any financial account)
High-asset divorces in California are complex and fragile cases that require the care of attorneys, tax experts, certified public accountants, and economists. These professionals can help secure your marital property in an organized way.
Coming from a divorced family herself, Alana Redmond is interested in topics relating to divorce and family relationship dynamics, as well as how social media and technology will affect the future of human relationships. She also writes content for family law firms. www.yelman.com