On the surface, divorce can seem to be a very simple concept. Two spouses decide for various reasons to end their marriage. The spouses then hire lawyers to work out the legal arrangements and go to court if necessary. Shortly after, the divorce becomes official and each spouse is free to lead a separate life. In theory, this is how a divorce should work. The process should be simple and straightforward, and allow both spouses to move on in a short period of time.

In reality, though, divorces are often far from straightforward. A variety of factors complicate matters: spouses may own several pieces of real estate, or sophisticated interests in real estate. There may be other valuable assets including businesses, complex financial holdings, stock options, employments contracts, complex retirement and estate planning programs. We may also be dealing with large families. In these situations, referred to as “complex divorces,” professional help is typically required. An accounting firm, for example, might be hired to determine the value of a couple’s business, and a real estate appraiser may determine the value of a couple’s properties, such as a ski lodge in Mammoth or a beach house in Cozumel. The spouses might then employ a law firm to advise them on the financial consequences of liquidating these assets. A law firm would also be helpful in complex divorces to determine custody and spousal support for multiple children. Spouses with five children, for instance, would probably need legal help to determine custody and child support issues.

In cases of complex divorce, an expert family law firm can help a couple efficiently and fairly complete the dissolution process.