California High Asset Divorce Lawyers
Both parties need attorneys even with a pre-nuptial agreement
Of all the circumstances courts contend with, divorce is the one most often compared to warfare. Even in amicable divorces, untangling and dividing families and property can be traumatic.
California is a community property state
California is a community property state —in a divorce the marital assets and debts are divided 50-50. For high net worth couples the stakes are considerable. The process can be complex and the skirmishes over property division, child support, and spousal support can be fierce. Both parties need attorneys experienced in finding, unweaving, and valuing complex assets. With high net worth spouses, asset valuations often include:
- Multiple bank accounts
- Stock, stock options, bonds, and other investments
- Businesses (from S Corporations to professional practices)
- 401Ks, pensions, or other retirement accounts
- Real estate that may include multiple homes in the U.S. and abroad, and other properties
- Art work
Protecting your assets in a divorce
High net worth clients can protect assets from potential divorce with pre-nuptial and even post-nuptial agreements. It is also possible to have some assets excluded from the property division during divorce. You may be able to exclude assets owned prior to the marriage and any income earned on those assets if that income was not commingled with other community property. Likewise, you may be able to exclude assets specifically gifted to you or that you inherited and were not commingled.
It is essential that you share a complete list of your assets with your high asset divorce attorney in California. If you do not declare an asset (even if you thought it should be excluded) and it is then discovered, the court may determine that it was misappropriated and award that entire asset to your spouse.
In California, most debts are also divided 50-50. But, there are specific rules about debts incurred between the date of separation and the date the divorce is final. Debts for non-necessities are the responsibility of whichever party incurred them.
The San Mateo divorce attorneys at the Law Office of K.J. Petsas, PC offer the experience and attentive counsel you need when dealing with a high asset divorce—and other difficult family law issues—in San Francisco, San Mateo, and throughout the San Francisco Bay area. If you or a loved one is involved in a high net divorce, give us a call at 650.273.4924 or contact us online to take advantage of our free initial consultation. We return all calls within 12 hours.