If you and your spouse are a couple that has acquired significant assets during your marriage, you will have a more complicated divorce process than a couple without high-value assets. A high-asset divorce has unique complications. A Redwood City high-asset divorce attorney can help you protect your rights and work toward a positive case resolution. Contact Schoenberg Family Law Group to request a consultation with one of our attorneys in Redwood City, California today.
Why Choose Us
- Debra R. Schoenberg is a Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS). This means that she underwent additional education in family law to become certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.
- We understand high-asset divorces. Our divorce lawyers have ample experience representing clients with high net-worth cases. We know how to strategize the best possible resolutions for each individual client.
- Our law firm works with tax experts, property appraisers, forensic accountants and other financial professionals to accurately evaluate and protect high-dollar assets. We have what you need when you have a lot at stake.
How a High-Asset Divorce Attorney in Redwood City Can Help
It can be critical to hire an attorney to represent you during a high-asset divorce case in Redwood City, California. Representing yourself can put you at risk of making major errors that threaten your hard-earned assets or compromise your future after a divorce. Your lawyer can help you with challenges such as accurately evaluating your financial state, hiring forensic accountants, searching for hidden assets, documenting all of your assets, understanding tax consequences and arriving at a reasonable settlement.
If you and your spouse cannot reach a settlement, a lawyer can represent you during a divorce trial. Unfortunately, trials are more common among high-asset couples, as these are often contested divorce cases. Your lawyer can represent you in court for optimal results. Overall, throughout your case, a divorce lawyer can provide legal guidance and advice to improve your peace of mind.
What Does High-Asset Divorce Mean?
A high-asset divorce is the dissolution of a union between two people with valuable property and assets. Typically, the couple has acquired these assets together during the marriage, making it more difficult to divide during a divorce case. A couple with a high-asset divorce may have a complex marital estate with various types of properties and belongings including:
- Retirement and savings accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Artwork and collectibles
- Family heirlooms
- Real estate
- Jointly-owned businesses
- Intangible assets (e.g., intellectual property)
A couple with a high-asset divorce will encounter unique complications when it comes to property division, alimony, taxes and other related legal matters. Since there is more at stake financially, these couples will benefit from hiring high-value asset attorneys in Redwood City for representation.
What Complications Might You Encounter With a High-Asset Divorce?
Going through a divorce is difficult enough without the added complications of high-value assets. High-value assets mean that you have more on the line when going through a divorce or legal separation; you have more to lose under California’s community property division law. It also means that you will have special considerations when determining asset division and other elements of your divorce. Common complications include:
- Higher odds of going to trial. If you and your spouse have acquired a great deal of property during your marriage, it will be even more difficult to come to a fair settlement. These are often high-conflict cases. An attorney can help you during mediation with your spouse to diminish the chances of having to go to trial in Redwood City.
- Complex property distribution. High-asset divorce cases often involve complex properties, including retirement accounts, real estate, jointly owned businesses, savings accounts, investments and offshore accounts. An attorney can hire experts to evaluate these assets and divide them.
- Tax considerations. Dividing high-value properties can come with substantial tax consequences. For example, if you and your spouse own multiple properties, you may need to deal with property appreciation over time and a capital gains tax. Your lawyer will help you understand and navigate the tax implications of a high net-worth divorce in California.
The unique issues related to a high-asset divorce case in Redwood City are what make it important to trust your case to a Certified Family Law Specialist and not just any divorce lawyer. A CFLS will have the additional training, knowledge and experience necessary to work around complicated legal matters and property division issues while protecting your rights and best interests as a client.
How Do the Courts in California Divide Assets in a Divorce?
How California divides marital assets in a divorce case is a key reason why it is important to hire an attorney. If your divorce case has to go to trial, the courts will divide all of your marital property applying community property law. Under this law, a judge will divide all assets and property accumulated during a marriage in half (50/50), regardless of who earned the assets. This law means that you could lose half of what you earned during your marriage, without the chance to request a different type of arrangement. The courts will not, however, have the power to divide separate property.
Separate property describes all assets earned prior to the marriage. It also describes certain types of property acquired during the marriage, such as gifts given to only one spouse or one spouse’s inheritance. Differentiating community from separate property when you are submitting your financial disclosure form in a divorce case is critical, as you do not need to split any separate property with your ex-spouse. If you wish to avoid the 50/50 split, the best way to do so is to hire an attorney to decrease your odds of going to court.
How to Protect Your High-Value Assets
If you are the higher-earning spouse in a high-asset divorce case in Redwood City, there are ways to protect your property and assets during a divorce. First, you can use a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement to determine matters such as property division and spousal maintenance should you and your spouse ever divorce.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are legal documents that provide for the division of assets if a couple gets divorced, such as who will keep certain assets or whether or not one spouse has to pay alimony. Second, you can avoid comingling your separate assets after marriage to protect them from division. You can keep your bank accounts in your own name, for example, rather than creating joint accounts. Third, you can hire a skilled divorce lawyer to help you with the legal process.
Divorce Trial vs. Settlement in Redwood City
Reaching a settlement during your high-asset divorce case can save you time, stress and money. It can also keep you and your spouse in control of how you divide your valuable marital property and assets. You may be able to reach a settlement with assistance from an attorney, who can accompany you to mediation or arbitration – two common alternative dispute resolutions. Your lawyer can come up with creative solutions and compromises to achieve a divorce settlement that works for both parties. If your high-asset divorce cannot reach a settlement, a lawyer will represent you before a judge and jury in San Mateo County, instead.
Consult a Redwood City High-Asset Divorce Attorney Today
It is critical to hire a Redwood City high-asset divorce attorney if you have this type of divorce case in California. An attorney will have the skill, experience and resources to help you protect yourself financially and emotionally. Contact Schoenberg Family Law Group at 415.286.5372 or through our online system today for a consultation.