Riverside High Asset Divorce Attorney
Divorce can be one of the most stressful and difficult experiences of a person’s life. Divorcing spouses must not only complete the legal process of ending their marriage in the eyes of the state of California, but they must also come to personal terms with the end of their marital contract. This dissolution includes dividing their assets and debts equally under California law. In most cases, this process is much easier said than done. Even an uncontested divorce with mutually agreed-upon terms can take months to finalize. Unfortunately, the entire process can be incredibly draining financially and emotionally.
Money can complicate divorce. The more assets there are to divide, the more contentious and drawn-out divorce can become. The traditional definition of a “high asset divorce” was any divorce involving more than one million dollars in marital property and assets. However, the modern world has placed the bar for high asset divorces much higher in recent years. Most high asset divorces in California involve multiple millions of dollars and various types of complex investments. When a couple with a large amount of wealth decides to divorce, it’s easy to see how each divorcing spouse will fight intensely to protect their individual financial interests.
It does not have to be that way. The Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey is one of the leading divorce firms in Riverside, California. Mrs. Schwartz and the rest of our lawyers are prepared to guide you through asset division so that you can move forward with financial security.
Why Choose Our Firm?
At the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey, we believe in taking a client-focused approach to our legal representation. Our attorneys and legal staff understand that divorce can be an incredibly challenging experience in many ways. We want to provide you with peace of mind and the best legal representation available in the Inland Empire. When you need a Riverside high asset divorce lawyer, you can rely on our team to help you navigate your divorce case while protecting your interests and minimizing your losses under California state law.
We can assist you with all aspects of a high asset divorce case, including property division, child custody, spousal support agreements, and more. We have an extensive network of professional contacts who may act as expert witnesses and contribute to your case in meaningful ways. We are prepared to handle divorce negotiations on your behalf efficiently and professionally, but we are also not afraid to take your divorce case into litigation if necessary.
How California Splits Assets During Divorce
There are different types of property that come into play in virtually every divorce case. The main types are separate property and community property. Every state in the country has unique laws when it comes to handling these different types of property in a divorce. California is a community property state, which means that all community assets — things you and your spouse own jointly — are divided as evenly as possible. For couples with substantial income and assets, community property can include:
- Bank accounts. Some couples will retain their individual bank accounts after marrying and open a joint account to pay household bills and manage shared expenses, while other couples simply combine their finances into shared joint accounts soon after marrying. A Riverside divorce attorney can help a divorcing individual determine their ownership over their bank accounts and how the court is likely to divide shared accounts.
- Businesses. Many high asset divorce cases involve a business owned by one or both spouses. In some cases, these businesses may be the source of their wealth. It can require a bit of research to determine the ownership rights of each spouse. If you owned a business before marrying and want to prevent your soon-to-be-ex-spouse from taking half of it, you’re going to need a Riverside high asset divorce lawyer to help you prove the extent of your ownership over the business and how the timeline of your owning the business aligns with the timeline of your marriage.
- Retirement accounts and other investments. Modern investment options are incredibly diverse. Whether you have a 401k, a portfolio of stock options, or lucrative cryptocurrency accounts, your Riverside high asset divorce lawyer can help you ensure your continued ownership of separate property and fair division of community property when it comes to your various investments. In many cases, simply cashing out these accounts and dividing the proceeds is not a wise decision as such choices can incur significant fees and tax penalties.
- The family home and other real estate. If you and your spouse purchased your family home together, there are only a few possible options for dividing this property. One of you must either buy out the other’s share, trade ownership of the property for other assets in the divorce, or sell the home and divide the proceeds. Real estate can dredge up some of the most complex questions in a high asset divorce case, especially if the divorcing couple has children and a child custody agreement comes into play. Typically, the court will want to see the children remain in the family home, so the parent who wins majority custody will live with them while the other parent moves into their own home. Couples with multiple real estate properties may use them as bargaining chips during their high asset divorce negotiations in some cases.
- Fine art and other collectibles. If a wealthy couple invested in unique, rare, or artistic items, these valuables are typically divided similarly to real estate. One of the divorcing spouses may agree to trade ownership of these items for other items, buy out the other spouse’s share of the items they want, or the couple may sell the items and divide the proceeds evenly.
Separate property refers to items that belong to one spouse only. These can include assets one of the spouses owned before the marriage, along with gifts and inheritances given specifically to one spouse alone. Our attorneys are skilled at distinguishing community from separate property, as well as detecting attempts to hide assets from our clients.
How a Riverside High Asset Divorce Attorney Can Help With Your Case
High asset divorces can become hotly contested legal matters. In many cases, determining the best way to divide certain pieces of property comes down to the ownership record of the property and each spouse’s financial contributions toward the marriage. High asset divorce cases typically require input and testimony from financial experts, such as forensic data analysts, accountants, and professional financial advisors. These expert witnesses can help determine ownership rights over contested or jointly owned assets and clarify property division during the divorce process.
A Riverside high asset divorce lawyer will also be a helpful asset if you need to navigate any marital contracts involved in your divorce. Depending on when and how these contracts were developed and signed and their exact wording, they may simplify or complicate divorce proceedings in a high asset divorce case. Many couples sign prenuptial agreements that determine how their assets will be divided in the event of divorce. Our attorneys can represent you during prenuptial drafting, or if you wish to challenge the validity of the agreement later on.
If a prenuptial agreement is unclear or was signed under duress or coercion, it may not hold up in court. A tightly constructed and legally binding prenuptial agreement, on the other hand, could make divorce proceedings much simpler by outlining each of the divorcing spouse’s property rights.
Learn More About Protecting Your Finances
If you have worked hard to earn your wealth, it’s vital to protect your interests during a divorce. California state law aims for fairness in divorce cases, but many high asset divorces are very complicated and require the assistance of accomplished legal and financial professionals. If you need a Riverside high asset divorce attorney, our firm can help. For a free initial consultation, please call the Law Offices of Schwartz & Godbey at 951-686-8190. Besides Riverside, we represent clients in San Bernardino and across the Inland Empire.
- Divorce/Legal Separation
- Post-Divorce Disputes
- Bankruptcy & Divorce
- Divorce and Business Ownership
- Property Division
- High Asset Divorce
- Military Divorce
- Same-Sex Divorce/Domestic Partnerships
- Ex Parte Emergency Hearings
- Move Away
- Grandparents' Rights
- Child Support
- Spousal Support/Alimony
- Domestic Violence
- Restraining Orders/Protective Orders
- Child Custody/Visitation
- How Domestic Violence Affects Custody