High Net-Worth Divorces Can Be Complicated in California

While no divorce is without stress and difficulty, a divorce involving high net-worth takes things to an entirely different level. When a couple amasses significant wealth, the value of the components of that wealth is rarely straightforward. And specifying, agreeing on, and fairly dividing that wealth can prove very complicated indeed – especially when it must happen within the stressful confines of a divorce. If you are facing a high-asset divorce, you need experienced legal counsel.

Determining Value

The division of high net-worth estates is complicated on many different levels. Businesses and closely held corporations are often elaborately structured, which makes ascertaining their exact values that much more complex. High net-worth divorces often hinge on the intricate division of highly complex assets that demand expert valuations. Such assets can include businesses, real estate, investments, high-value personal property, and intangible assets – like stocks, bonds, retirement plans, executive compensation plans, and more. The thing about these intangible assets is that their future value is typically ambiguous, which makes them that much harder to divide equitably and with clarity.

Standard of Living

The California courts handle high net-worth divorces differently than they do average divorces – the finances of which are often quite straightforward. When it comes to the division of far greater wealth, things become far more laborious. The courts typically employ much greater discretion in these cases, and they can factor in the standard of living you enjoyed as a married couple. The standard-of-living component can play a pivotal role in your divorce settlement and can significantly affect the determination of a fair amount for both spousal and child support. In high-asset divorces, the court is also far more likely to include the children’s college educations and insurance policies in these calculations.

Community Property

California is a community property state, which means that all the assets you acquired during your marriage (and that you hold jointly) – including intangible assets – are community property that will be evenly divided with divorce. Suffice it to say that, when assets are high, this can get very complicated very quickly. Things are further complicated when intangible qualities such as goodwill towards a business are factored into the value of a particular asset. Goodwill can encompass many components, including the customer base, successful advertising, systems and controls developed within the business, advantageous location, and the skill and training of the employee pool. It’s a lot, and if you’re facing a high net-worth divorce, you don’t want to leave your settlement to chance or the court’s discretion; consult with an experienced California divorce lawyer today.

If You’re Looking at a High-Asset Divorce, You Need an Experienced California Family Law Attorney
Divorce is never easy. High-asset divorces are that much more complicated and emotionally fraught. The dedicated legal team at the family law firm of Razai & Nefulda, APC, has the experience, compassion, and commitment to help guide your case toward its most positive resolution. We’re here to help, so please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at 714-663-9900 (in Orange) or 949-222-5380 (in Newport Beach) today.