A High Net Worth Divorce in California

A high net worth divorce is considered to be the same as a regular divorce. What differentiates this type of divorce is that there are greater assets at risk, meaning that there may be more litigation and more battles which can hold up the divorce proceedings.

Some of the most common assets include:

  • Ownership rights to a business
  • Shared investment accounts
  • Multiple pieces of real estate
  • High valued assets

The financial assets in a high net worth divorce are typically more complex than a standard divorce because of the finances at stake. The ability to hire more experienced and talented divorce attorneys can also further delay the finalizing of a divorce.

Possible Financial Issues with a High Net Worth Divorce

High net worth divorces bring about a number of what are often unique issues. For example, if both parties are involved in running a family business, each side will have to have their separate interests properly valuated. This means that the business will need to be valuated, the assets will need to be examined, and the proportional value of each spouse’s contribution will need to be assessed.

Other issues which often rise with a high net worth divorce include:

  • Non-family partnerships
  • Jointly shared assets (such as pensions, stock options, and IRAs)
  • Real estate holdings
  • Trusts

Same-sex couples who are facing a high net worth divorce must be particularly careful with how they choose to proceed. Because many same-sex couples have spent a significant amount of time not married due to California laws, substantial assets and debts may have been accrued prior to being officially married. In these situations it is crucial that both parties seek professional legal guidance.

Common Mistakes Made in a High Net Worth Divorce

The financial stakes are substantially higher in a high net worth divorce. The proceedings almost always take longer and they may also be high profile. This magnifies the importance of having proper legal representation and behaving lawfully.

Some of the most common mistakes made in a high net worth divorce include:

  • Publicly criticizing your soon-to-be ex-spouse (including on social media)
    • This will reflect on a spouse poorly and may be taken into consideration by the courts
  • Failing to hire a financial advisor
    • If you do not already have a financial advisor, an expert family law attorney may be able to help direct you to a trustworthy individual who will help you prepare your finances for the divorce process
  • Leaving the matrimonial home after separation
    • This can have an impact on your ability to gain custody of your children and you may not be allowed to return to your home. Instead you should insist that the home be put up for sale or ask your spouse to buy you out of your share of the property
  • Failing to collect and retain financial records
    • Now is the time for you to become familiar with all marital expenses and where the money is being spent by your spouse and yourself
  • Refusing mediation
    • Many – if not every – family law matter can be resolved before going to trial
    • It is both cost effective and faster than going through a divorce
  • Not hiring a family law attorney who specialises in high net worth divorces
    • There are attorneys who specialize in “family law,” and then there are those who are trained in family law and who specifically work with high net worth divorces
    • Make sure that the attorney you choose is right both professional and personally
  • Failing to take your attorneys advice
    • You must trust that your attorney has your best interests at heart and that his or her recommendations should be followed
    • If you have any concerns about his or her advice, do not be afraid to ask questions

What a High Net Worth Divorce Attorney Can Handle

An attorney who specializes in high net worth divorces will be able to assist couples handle the division of a variety of complex assets including:

  • Inheritance
  • Separate and jointly owned property holdings
  • Property acquired prior to your marriage
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
  • Family businesses
  • Shared businesses and partnerships
  • Investments
  • Offshore accounts

The greater and more complex the holdings of a family, the more challenges you may face and the greater the opportunity there is to become embroiled in a dispute with your spouse. A high net worth divorce understands that careful accounting and preparation are key to reducing the length of a divorce. A reputable family law attorney understands this and will work towards ensuring that your divorce is finalized as fairly as possible so that both parties may peacefully move on with their lives.

Why Speak with Lavinsky Law about Your High Net Worth Divorce

Lavinsky Law provides sound advice and defends the rights of individuals who are facing a high net worth divorce in the Los Angeles area. We have experience in preparing and researching everything necessary to appropriately examine your divorce and provide the court with a detailed account of your assets.

Our team works closely with financial experts to locate and appraise all assets and debts which may be divided in the event of a divorce. To speak with one of our high net worth divorce attorneys today, we welcome you to contact us today at (310) 274-2717.  Brighter Days Are Ahead in your High Net Worth matter.