San Francisco Complex Property Distribution Lawyers
The concept of community property is simple enough, whether your marital estate is worth $20,000 or $20 million. But for most high net worth couples, several legal issues must be resolved before the parties can begin to negotiate a final distribution of their wealth. Additional considerations – such as cash flow, third-party creditor issues, egos, and emotions – affect a couple’s ability to reach a fair, practical distribution of the various elements of the estate. Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., is highly equipped to handle complex property division. Our San Francisco attorneys litigate high-asset divorces throughout the Bay Area, serving clients with a wide range of financial issues, from those holding simple assets to those managing multimillion-dollar marital estates. We have the legal acumen to address the diverse portfolios of high earners, such as entrepreneurs, executives, professionals, venture capitalists, entertainers, and their partners.
Extensive Experience With High-Asset Divorces
Debra R. Schoenberg is a certified* family lawyer, and a respected author and lecturer on community property law and related California family law issues. Her firm obtains results in challenging and high-conflict cases. Ms. Schoenberg has a strong courtroom record and a sophisticated understanding of the comprehensive considerations of high-asset dissolutions, such as:
- High-end homes and other real estate
- Retirement accounts — pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs
- Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs)
- Stocks, investments and cash accounts
- Artwork, jewelry, collectibles, vehicles
- Deferred compensation
- Valuation of businesses and professional practices
- Advanced degrees, professional licenses and careers
- Appreciation of separate property
- Transmuted personal assets — inheritance, settlements, investment accounts
- Credit cards, unpaid taxes and other marital debts
- Hidden assets and offshore accounts
- Illicit transfer of assets in anticipation of divorce
- Marital waste (gambling debts, extramarital activities)
- Applicability of prenuptial/postmarital agreements
We engage appraisers, valuation experts, forensic accountants, private investigators, and other professionals as necessary, to assure that every asset has been identified, characterized, and valued so that we can understand the total value of the marital estate. Once we have determined the exact nature of the community estate, we can then provide our clients with appropriate strategies to secure a favorable distribution whether through mediation, negotiation and/or litigation.
“My divorce was not simple. My ex-husband and I are both in the entertainment industry and had no desire for publicity. We did not want to go to court. There were no precedents at the time for the size or complexity of what needed to be sorted out in our divorce. Plus, we were working very diligently at changing the organizing principle in our relationship and wanted to avoid an acrimonious situation. We wanted to continue to own property together and figure out how to share it with one another and our children… Truly, I remain grateful now, two years after the resolution of my divorce, to have worked with SFLG and Debra Schoenberg.”
— A.V. (Read other client testimonials)
Managing A Complex Divorce
Even when there is ample wealth to divide, property division can be bitterly contested. Ideally, parties should litigate only when legal ambiguities or valuation disputes exist that cannot be solved in mediation or negotiation. However, spouses in high-asset divorces sometimes argue for emotional reasons, and when there is great wealth, some couples feel little financial incentive to be settlement-minded.
We try to be the voice of reason, helping our clients to set realistic goals and choose when to fight and where to let go. While you can’t control what your spouse does, you can protect your interests and shape the outcome of your property settlement. Our goal is to preserve your dignity and humanity in an adversarial process, starting with honest and respectful legal counsel. To speak with our complex property distribution attorneys about the unique considerations in your divorce, please
contact us online or by telephone at 415.834.1120.
* Certified in Family Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.