Orange County High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer
For spouses who own substantial assets, property division takes on heightened importance during the divorce process. In order to protect your accumulated wealth, you need to take a strategic approach to your divorce, and you need to make sound decisions based on the advice of experienced legal counsel. Each family lawyer at Seastrom Tuttle & Murphy has significant experience representing high-net-worth spouses prior to, during, and after the divorce process in Orange County, and we can use our experience to protect your assets to the fullest extent possible under California law.
Unique Property-Related Considerations for High-Net-Worth Divorces
California is one of just a handful of states that recognize the principle of “community property.” Under California’s community property rule, each spouse is considered an equal owner of all assets acquired during their marriage and, in divorce, each spouse is entitled to one half of the couple’s community estate. The only exception is if the spouses entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that calls for a different allocation. If you have questions about your specific situation, contact a knowledgeable Orange County high-net-worth divorce lawyer today.
Regardless of the inherent fairness of applying California’s community property law in any particular case, dividing a substantial community estate can present a number of significant challenges. This includes challenges related to:
- Dividing retirement accounts and non-retirement investment portfolios
- Dealing with 529 college savings plans, trusts, and other assets held for the benefit of the couple’s children
- Distributing the private residence, vacation homes and investment properties, whether or not subject to mortgages or other encumbrances
- Distributing artwork, luxury vehicles, yachts, and other assets of significant financial and sentimental value
- Protecting family wealth and heirlooms inherited prior to or during the marriage
- Addressing ownership and control of privately-owned businesses and partial ownership interests in private businesses
- Addressing ownership of assets owned prior to the date of marriage that appreciated in value between the date of marriage and divorce
In many cases, the first step toward dividing a substantial community asset will be to obtain an accurate valuation. This can be a challenge in itself, as divorcing spouses will often disagree over appropriate valuations and will have differing motives for doing so. For example, a spouse who is seeking to secure sole ownership of a private residence may want a low valuation for purposes of their divorce, while the other spouse will want a high valuation in order to receive as much in exchange for the property as possible. There are various ways to resolve this issue (and the other issues that tend to come up with respect to distributing high-net-worth community estates), and our lawyers can help you thoroughly consider your options so that you can choose the best path forward.
Speak with an Orange County High-Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer Today
If you would like to speak with an Orange County high-net-worth divorce lawyer about the property-related aspects of getting divorced in California, we invite you to schedule a confidential initial consultation with an Orange County divorce attorney at our firm. Call 949-474-0800 or send us a message online to set up an appointment today.