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Zwierzchowski & Nguyen

Free Initial Consultation: 562-426-6522

High Asset Divorce Attorneys in Long Beach, CA

WHAT IS A HIGH ASSET DIVORCE IN LONG BEACH, CA?

High asset divorce often becomes complex mostly due to property division and spousal support. Accumulated assets often included property otherwise absent from a more common divorce such as intellectual property (patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets), complex business structures, goodwill, royalties, art collections, account receivables, large stock accounts, life insurance policies, etc.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN ADVANTAGES OF HANDLING A HIGH ASSET DIVORCE OUT OF COURT IN LONG BEACH, CA?

Out-of-court settlement maintains more privacy and offers greater protection of assets. The focus can be on separating emotions from the division of assets. The process usually involves accountants and tax experts, who work together (not against each other) to maximize and protect assets while ensuring appropriate division and sufficient support.

WHAT DOES THE OUT-SPOUSE NEED TO UNDERSTAND DURING A HIGH ASSET DIVORCE IN LONG BEACH, CA?

The out-spouse is the spouse who did not handle the marital assets during the marriage. Often, one of the spouses takes the leading role in the finance department either because of assets in existence before marriage or due to business developed during marriage. The out-spouse usually has either no knowledge or very limited knowledge about the marital estate. Access to financial information is another common problem of the out-spouse. Access to information and understanding the assets are the two most important aspects of any settlement. If the in-spouse fails to disclose, any divorce judgment can be set aside. If the out-spouse does not adequately understand the assets and how division would benefit him/her and protect the assets for the children, a settlement may not be possible or it may take substantially longer to reach.

WHAT MISTAKES SHOULD BE AVOIDED IN A HIGH ASSET DIVORCE IN LONG BEACH, CA?

There are several serious mistakes that can lead to less than desirable results.

  1. Improper valuations of assets: Hiring the wrong appraisers and business valuation experts.
  2. Lack of financial experts: Commingled accounts (both separate and community funds in stock accounts, retirement funds, business interests, etc.) should be traced by accountants experienced in high asset work. Assets should generally be tabulated and summarized by an expert as well. Good accountants will also be able to teach the out-spouse about the marital estate and explain the advantages vs. disadvantages of settlement proposals.
  3. Rushing into a settlement: Anything done without careful disclosure of assets and thorough analysis by a forensic accountant can lead to bad results.
  4. Choosing an inexperienced attorney: Family law attorney who handles high assets understands the scope of the assets and seeks the assistance of forensic accountants early on to discover and trace assets and explore various settlement options.
  5. Hiding assets: It leads to costly set aside of judgment. It can result in massive sanctions and unintended division of assets.

HOW IS SPOUSAL SUPPORT CALCULATED IN A HIGH NET DIVORCE IN LONG BEACH, CA?

Assuming inequality of incomes, spousal support is calculated using two different methods. If a divorce if litigated, the court will most likely use DissoMaster software to calculate pendente lite support (temporary support). The court can still consider all the factors in Family Code section 4320 during the initial hearing. The spouse asking for support should be ready with a marital standard of living analysis in addition to other factors and disaster. Permanent spousal support is awarded based on a full analysis of the 4320 factors. It is a reversible error for the court to consider DissoMaster for spousal support calculation at trial.

Family Code section 4320 factors include;

  • The length of the marriage
  • The standard of living during the marriage
  • The age and health of the spouses
  • The ability of the supported spouse to find work or develop marketable skills
  • The contributions of the supported spouse to the education or career of the supporting spouse
  • Each spouse’s income and separate property
  • Division of assets
  • Other like domestic violence, etc.

In a high net divorce, analysis of the marital standard of living and assets available for support become very important. It is vital that the analysis is conducted by an experienced forensic accountant so that the story of your marriage is translated into monetary value. Tax returns have to be carefully reviewed to reveals hidden perks and items paid for by a business.

Budgets have to be properly worked out to avoid improper calculations of proposed needs. The supported spouse should understand his/her needs in light of the changing marital situation.

Supported spouse, depending on the length of the marriage and other factors of Family Code section 4320 (age, health, employment gap, etc) should also prepare a work re-entry plan or education steps needed for self-sufficiency.

WHAT IS IMPORTANT IN CHILD CUSTODY IN LONG BEACH, CA?

Divorces involving children are challenging whether they are litigated or mediated. In mediation, there is a much greater chance of coming up with a parenting plan that reflects the best interests of the children. In litigation, conflict reduction should be the main priority but unfortunately, it rarely is as fuel is added to the fire by the adversarial nature of the process.

High asset divorces pose additional challenges in establishing new parenting plans due to the level of the marital lifestyle. Wealthy families often travel extensively or even establish two-family residences (often on different continents); often children are in private schools and expenses run high. Travel arrangements, business trips, or demanding work environments require creative options and bridge-building throughout the settlement process.

Understanding the children’s best interests and reaching a consensus with the other parent is key to establishing parenting plans focused on the children.

The more honest each parent can be with each other and the more flexible the better the chances for minimizing the lifestyle changes and adjustments for the children. Co-operation should be the name of the game. The kinder each parent is to themselves and each other the better the outcome.

Often custody and parenting plan are the most contentious issues. Early resolution of these two issues can not only keep the conflict to a minimum for the children but also clear your mind to reach a solid property division and support settlement. It is easier to come to the table to negotiate a resolution once your fears and concerns about post-divorce parenting are put to rest. Understanding the fears, needs, motivations behind certain demands/requests/positions can prove vital in unbundling the issue and move towards resolution.

WHO SHOULD BE A PART OF YOUR TEAM IN LONG BEACH, CA?

High assets allow parties to create a team of professionals who can assist them not only in the division of assets, tax benefits, and support structures but also in taking care of their emotional and psychological well-being during the process of a divorce. A client’s well-being during the divorce process is vital. Divorce does not have to be a tragic life-destroying event. With the right support, each party can emerge from it strong and well-balanced. If addiction or abuse were part of the marital life, it is especially important to each of the spouses that the underlying issues are addressed. Successful co-parenting demands well-functioning healed parents. A parent cannot parent, let alone co-parent, without facing and resolving issues stemming from a failed marriage.

Knowing what team members are valuable in each divorce is a crucial skill that an experienced family law attorney or certified family mediator can offer to her clients.

Accountants, tax experts, business attorneys, real estate appraisers, therapists, coaches, parenting plan coordinators, and other professionals help parties reach a resolution. Managing the team is an important part of the work that a high asset divorce attorney handles for her clients.

Contact our experienced High Asset Divorce Lawyers in Long Beach, CA  for a free consultation at (562-426-6522).

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