Divorce can be expensive. For those involved in a high net-worth divorce, the cost can be astronomically higher. Separate and community property will most likely have more value and can be more contested. In some cases, out of state or international assets have to be appraised. This process can involve extended periods of time to determine value and ownership. As for alimony and child support, the payments may be significantly larger than more median net-worth divorce cases.
While each case is unique, high net-worth divorces can lend themselves to more complications, legally and financially. In accounting for every factor, the judge may also take longer to evaluate your case and make a decision.
Division of assets is complicated in general, but the complications increase exponentially when one or both spouses' net-worth is significant. You must keep detailed records of all financial contributions and acquisitions during the marriage. Be sure to keep copies of official tax and finance documents if they have an expiration period during the divorce process. Accountants and fiduciary services may be necessary to calculate accurately and recover financial records related to the divorce.
International or Out-of-State Assets
Individuals with assets overseas or outside their state of residence can find the divorce process particularly grueling. Property and ownership are some of the most complex aspects of divorce and legal separation cases. The work to determine what qualifies as communal versus separate property is tedious at best. This distinction is made based on when the property was acquired and what money was used when either spouse purchased it. Any property owned jointly or purchased with joint funds is communal. Property bought with separate funds or before/after the marriage is considered independent. As for international and out-of-state assets, California handles those like they would in-state property. The same rules apply for communal and separate ownership.
Length of the Proceedings
Higher net-worth couples are likely to experience more challenges during the separation process, particularly related to calculating property value or equity. Accounting for international assets and offshore accounts requires appraisals done by experts in the designated country's regulations. Houses are also time-consuming to divide since the house's cost and the property's equity must both be calculated.
California law lays out rules for communal and separate property. Joint property is bought or owned jointly, whereas individual property consists of what was purchased with independent funds and/or before the relationship and after lawful divorce. However simple it may sound, when multiple accounts and foreign assets are up for consideration in a divorce, the process is incredibly complex. The divorce process, on average, can take anywhere from a few months to well over a year or more. Higher net-worth divorces tend to be on the longer side of the scale due to the sheer amount of property and assets divided.
The Best Strategy for Property Value and Division of Assets
The best way to avoid leaving the outcome of your high net worth divorce to chance is to consult an attorney about your options. Choose a team with 60 years of experience in divorce law. If you need a lawyer for your high net worth divorce case, contact Palmer Rodak & Associates.
Call (760) 573-2223 to find out what Palmer Rodak & Associates can do for you.