California Complex Asset Divorce Attorney
Representing Divorce Clients in Complicated Marital Property Division
Divorce is not easy and should not be taken lightly.
Divorce becomes more complicated when a couple has a sizable estate with high-value assets. In such cases, there are frequently many different kinds of assets which further enhance the level of complexity in the divorce.
Although every divorce is unique, there are sources of conflict common to many of the high asset divorce cases we are equipped to handle: Typical issues in complex asset cases involve the following:
- Businesses and professional practices
- Real estate investment properties
- Overseas investments and assets, Joint ventures, partnerships, and other business interests
- Stock portfolios, stock options, securities and other investment accounts
- Patents, trademarks, copyrights and other intellectual property rights such as royalty income
- Trusts with complicated tax implications related to asset transfers
- Self-employment and independent contractor income
- Unique personal assets, such as jewelry, artwork, and cars
- Comingled assets and investments such as in the stock market, inheritances
- Employee benefits (options, deferred compensation, etc.)
- Pensions, IRA, 401K retirement plans
- Hidden assets
- Prenuptial and Post Marital Agreements, and the like.
A complex divorce requires a sophisticated approach. Complex assets demand more than simply dividing things into his and hers. Knowing this, we have established relationships with experienced expert tax analysts, forensic accountants, appraisers, vocational evaluators and other attorneys who specialize in complex cases. Their expertise and analysis adds to the framework of each client and the law firm in handling complex cases. Using their expertise and our own legal experience, we diligently scrutinize our client's assets and debts.
Complex divorce cases require volumes of documents, numerous statutory and judicial deadlines, legal research and preparation of Court briefs, discovery including various Subpoena's, Demands, Interrogatories and Depositions. Complex matters require creative and well managed solutions to ensure proper business valuation methods, full disclosure of assets, proper characterization of assets and tracing and identifying of all available income.
In California, property is characterized as community property, separate property or quasi-community property. Still, some property has dual characterization or has changed character during the marital relationship. Property that was initially separate may have been comingled, or perhaps earnings and growth on certain assets may require complex tracing methods.
Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Parties to a marriage owe one another a duty of the highest good faith and fair dealing regarding the marital estate. In contested matters, one party may engage in an activity that violates this fiduciary duty, for example by hiding income, selling or transferring assets or other fraudulent acts. We employ private investigators, accountants, appraisers and forensic specialists to assist in finding, tracing and determining assets to be divided in a divorce.
Bankruptcy and Divorce
We also work closely with particular bankruptcy attorneys. We can advise you on the best steps to take if you or your spouse find it necessary to file for bankruptcy during the course of your separation or divorce.
Premarital, Post-nuptial and Cohabitation Agreements
If you wish to, or have already executed a premarital agreement, post-nuptial, or cohabitation agreement, we will make sure you understand what these agreements can and cannot do for you. We work on both sides; we draft these types of agreement as well as attack them, working to invalidate, or set one aside, if it is not in your best interests at separation.
Chavis Law Firm understands the issues of asset identification, characterization and valuation that can arise when affluent spouses divorce. Together, we can determine how to proceed to protect your rights, goals and best interests. Contact us to make an appointment.