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High Asset Divorce

We Help you Navigate the Complexity of a High Asset Divorce

A divorce can be a very stressful time for anyone. Divorce can also become very complex when one or both spouses have a high net worth. Couples with a high net worth will require accounting and financial experts to determine the value of the marital assets. For example, suppose one or both of the spouses own a business. In that case, a forensic accountant will probably be involved in reviewing the company to determine the business's and business assets' actual value.

In many cases, prenuptial agreements are usually in place. However, the court will have to review those agreements to ensure they are fair and not signed under duress, or the non-monied spouse may be able to challenge the agreements during the division of assets.

One of the biggest concerns during a divorce where one or both spouses have a high net value is whether certain assets are being hidden or illegally transferred before or during the discovery phase. This is because spouses have a fiduciary responsibility to each other. This fiduciary responsibility means that spouses much disclose all of their assets, whether they would be considered marital or separate assets.

Another concern in high-asset divorces is the couple's debt, as debt, like assets, is also divided during property division. Finally, wealthy couples are also concerned about possible tax consequences during a divorce. While a spouse can transfer assets to a spouse during a divorce tax-free, if any assets are transferred after the divorce is finalized, they must pay taxes. 

In a high-asset divorce, even if a single spouse produced the wealth, the non-monied spouse is still entitled to their share of the assets. This includes spousal and child support. Both parties of a divorce, including minor children, should be able to maintain the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed or at least be able to live comfortably after the divorce is finalized. As California is a community property state, the marital assets eligible for distribution are divided evenly between spouses. This does not include spousal or child support.

The courts take these sorts of cases on an individual basis and take several factors into account, including the length of the marriage and how each spouse contributed to the household, and the manner of the acquisition of wealth to make a determination that could affect items such as spousal and child support.

The Law Office of James Chau will handle all these details to protect your rights and property. If you are in a high net-worth family and are going through a divorce, having a Certified Family Law Specialist is vital. Division of assets can be a sensitive and emotional process.

The Law Office of James Chau, P.C., represents clients in San Jose, California, and all of the surrounding areas.

For more information and to schedule a personal consultation with the Law Offices of James Chau, P.C., please contact us online or call our San Jose, California office at (408) 899-8364.

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