Understanding the Possible Outcomes
Property division in a divorce is the step that can cause a great deal of concern for the parties involved. Nowhere is that concern more amplified, however, than in a high-asset divorce involving numerous complex assets. Individuals preparing for this type of divorce should understand why they should remain diligent in their understanding of the laws governing asset division.
California Property Division
California is a community property state, meaning that all property acquired during a couple’s marriage is up for division in a divorce and will be divided equally. Separate property, on the other hand, refers to property that was acquired prior to the marriage, as well as property bequeathed or gifted to one particular spouse while married.
In California, a couple seeking divorce is able to negotiate an agreement on how they will divide their property. Should they be unsuccessful in doing so, the court will do it for them.
How This Impacts High-Asset Divorce
What these laws mean for a couple preparing to go through a high-asset divorce is that they should take careful note of when assets were acquired; accurate tracing of an asset’s history of ownership is necessary to successfully navigate a high-asset divorce. Keep in mind that should an asset have been purchased or acquired while the parties were married, then that asset is presumed to be community in nature and thus divisible in the divorce; therefore, if something especially valuable to either party, such as a business or a particular asset, was acquired during this time frame, it is up for division.
While having a prenuptial agreement can be beneficial to a high-asset divorce, not every couple has one; therefore, working through property division in a high-asset divorce requires one to be diligent in tracing the history of their assets. Should disagreements over whether or not an asset is community or separate arise, each party should be willing to negotiate a settlement agreement. These negotiations can be tense at times, so legal representation skilled at keeping calm during negotiation is essential.
The Necessity of a High-Asset Divorce Attorney
When going through a high-asset divorce, skilled and specialized representation is necessary. Your attorney should not only understand the complexities of high asset divorce and have experience in handling these cases, but they should also have the negotiation skills necessary to work through difficult issues that arise in a high-asset divorce.