High Asset Divorce

Knowledgeable Family Law Attorneys Guiding Orange County Residents

Orange County High Asset Divorce Attorney Any divorce may be complicated, but a high-asset divorce tends to be especially complex because a wide range of issues may be involved. For example, it is critical that marital assets are identified and valued accurately. At the Law Offices of David P. Schwarz, our Orange County divorce lawyers have the knowledge, skill, and experience to protect your financial interests. With over 20 years of experience, we understand the nuances of this area of law and can put our knowledge to use on your behalf.

Pursuing a High-Asset Divorce in Southern California

A high-asset divorce refers to a divorce in which the couple has a high net worth. Retirement assets (such as pensions, 401(k)s, and IRAs), real estate assets, business assets, international assets, income, vested stock options, and personal property are all taken into account when it comes to calculating a couple’s overall net worth.

California is a community property state, which means that any assets or income acquired throughout the marriage until the date of separation belong equally to both spouses. At the time of the divorce, community property must be divided between the spouses. Separate property is defined as any property that a spouse owned prior to the marriage or received during the marriage by gift or inheritance. Under California law, community property must be divided equally. This does not mean that each item needs to be individually divided in half. Instead, each spouse should get half of the net value of the assets.

Some assets are harder to divide than others. For example, pension benefits are one aspect of retirement benefits that must be considered during a divorce. In California, the court will use the “time rule” to figure out the fraction of the benefits that is community property and the fraction that is separate property. The community benefits will be divided between the spouses, while the separate benefits will belong solely to the spouse who earned them outside the marriage. Another example of an asset that may be difficult to value is a business. In California, if a business is operated during the course of a marriage, it is considered community property. As a result, any growth of the business is also a benefit to the community.

Our firm can work with the necessary forensic accountants and certain tax and financial experts to identify and accurately value your assets. In some cases, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be involved. If this is the case, we can thoroughly examine the document and offer guidance regarding it as well.

Discuss Your High-Asset Divorce Proceeding with an Orange County Lawyer

If you are going through a divorce in California and are worried about protecting your financial future, it is important to speak to an Orange County divorce attorney who can explore the details of your situation. We have represented many Southern California residents, including people in Mission Viejo, Laguna Hills, San Clemente, Dana Point, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Fullerton, Yorba Linda, Orange, Irvine, and Newport Beach. To set up a free consultation with a divorce and property division attorney, you can call us at 949-735-9266 or contact us online.