California Family Law Blog

How to Handle High Asset Divorces

Divorce can be a contentious, time-consuming and often complex process. High net worth divorces compound those complexities. With more assets to divide, it can take more time to reach a fair and reasonable divorce settlement. (If you have a prenuptial or post-nuptial agreement, that can help simplify the process.)

Sole custody: Proving you are the better parent

When you first got married, you and your spouse may have been like many California married couples who felt like they were ready to take on the world as long as they had each other. Such intense emotions are common in newlyweds and tend to become a bit more subdued as time goes on and life happens. Those "us against the world" feelings may have resurfaced when you started having children. Parenthood has a way of making spouses feel strongly united.  

You may have never imagined that you'd be facing the circumstances you are right now, preparing for divorce and planning to seek sole custody of your children. If you want the court to grant sole custody, it essentially means you have to convince the judge overseeing the case that you are the better parent and that it would be in your children's best interests to live with you over you ex.  

Can you get your visitation order changed?

Now that some time has passed since you settled your divorce, you may be feeling confident that you and your children are adapting as well as expected to your new lifestyle. While you might still have a few "down" days here and there, for the most part, you have hopefully built a strong support system around yourselves that you can easily access when needed. Perhaps your extended family and closest friends are a big part of that system. 

Like most good parents in California and beyond, you realize that with life comes change. Your children have likely already adapted to many changes since your divorce; however, what if a situation arises since you signed your visitation agreement that warrants further change? Depending on the exact issue at hand, you may be able to request modification of your existing court order.  

Infidelity takes a back seat in divorce...sort of

If you are the type of person who simply won't stand for your spouse cheating on you, then when you found out about it, you probably decided that your marriage needed to end. Despite your anger, and perhaps a desire to punish your spouse, you cannot allege adultery or infidelity as grounds for divorce.

California's courts do not assign blame when it comes to the breakdown of a marriage. However, the infidelity could play a role in your divorce after all.

Getting it right when you decide to separate

Many California couples may not yet be ready to file for divorce but instead decide to separate. Perhaps they hold out hope that they can save their marriages but need to live physically apart to find out. Whether they do it for the sake of the children, for religious reasons or for financial reasons, among other things, they decide it would be better for them, at least at the time, to remain legally married.

However, they want to go their separate ways and live their own lives until they are ready to file for divorce or get back together. In any case, if it appears that the separation will last for any appreciable amount of time, it may be a good idea to enter into a separation agreement first.

Parental alienation syndrome: Are your kids victims?

Divorce is never easy and if you're one of many California parents whose children have been having difficulty adapting to a new lifestyle, you are definitely not alone in your struggle. It's understandable that your kids may go through various emotions as they come to terms with the idea that their parents are no longer married to each other. It's also understandable that you and your children will have good days and bad days as you move on in life after you settle your divorce.

However, it is not appropriate for your former spouse to try to alienate you from your children. There are certain recognizable patterns of behavior that one parent will often exhibit when trying to ruin the parent/child relationship of the other parent. In fact, experts have labeled the problem, "Parental Alienation Syndrome." If you believe your kids are victims, you can reach out for immediate support.

Can I settle child custody issues without an attorney?

As complex as child custody issues may be, you and your spouse may have decided to work out those questions on your own instead of bringing attorneys into the mix. If this worked well for you when you dealt with property division or support concerns, you may be confident you will resolve the matter peaceably.

However, it is important that any divorcing parent not lose sight of what is at stake. It can be easy to focus on sticking to the plan of negotiating a parenting agreement on your own, but there are certain signs that indicate having legal counsel is in your best interests and the best interests of the child.

How important is it to prepare for divorce?

Making the decision to end a marriage is not an easy choice, but there are specific things you can do to reduce the complications associated with the process. Many people find it beneficial to adequately prepare as they consider their divorce options and get ready to move forward with the necessary legal steps.

If you are considering divorce in California, you may find it beneficial to think about how you can prepare for the end of your marriage. There are practical steps you can take that will shield your interests and reduce the chance of complications in the future. Preparing well can help lessen the strain and stress of divorce.

Keep kids' stress levels low re co-parenting after divorce

When you divorced, you knew that you and your kids would go through an adjustment period while adapting to your new lifestyle. Perhaps your friends who had already gone through divorce warned you about some of the possible challenges you'd experience during your first post-divorce year. If you have a solid parenting plan and kids that know you'll be there to support them along the way, your family may be able to move forward in life without any major post-divorce complications. 

Hopefully, you and your former spouse were able to negotiate a co-parenting plan that included all of the necessary instructions for out-of-the-ordinary times when your kids' typical schedules would change, such as holidays and summer vacation from school. As for the latter, you can do several things to keep your shared parenting arrangement running smoothly all summer. One is to be fully aware of your parenting rights and know where to seek support if a problem arises. 

Include more than physical assets in your prenuptial agreement

Drafting a prenuptial agreement is a step that many California couples take in order to ensure the full protection of their financial interests in case of a divorce. However, it is possible to custom tailor these agreements to your individual needs and objectives. You can include provisions for not only your physical assets, but your digital assets as well.

People often fail to include digital assets in their prenuptial agreements, but there are many benefits to including intangible property. Many people preparing to marry fail to consider how much of their lives are stored online and how many of their assets are digital. It can be beneficial to consider these things as you are preparing your agreement, as this can help you avoid many complications in the event of a divorce.

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