Filing for divorce in Los Angeles is already a complicated process, but when a spouse’s high net worth, ownership rights to a business, investment accounts, substantial property, significant assets and other complex matters come into play, it takes the help of a highly skilled Los Angeles divorce attorney to make sure your assets and the lifestyle you enjoy are protected. Divorces are often emotionally charged and can be financially draining, and a high net worth divorce in particular can leave your property and assets vulnerable. If you are considering filing for divorce in Los Angeles, or if you’ve been served divorce papers, and there are significant marital assets at stake, don’t hesitate to get legal help. Contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles today at (213) 550-4600 to find out how you can protect yourself in a high net worth divorce.
Affordable L.A. High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
Los Angeles is a prosperous city, and given the extensive financial resources of many Los Angeles residents, our divorce lawyers are often hired to assist clients with a high net worth and significant assets going through a divorce. The larger and more complex the assets, the more challenges there are in coming to an amicable agreement outside of court, which means these cases often end up going to trial, where having a knowledgeable high net worth divorce attorney on your side is critical. We understand that these are sensitive matters requiring a competent attorney with a background in family law and a comprehensive knowledge of the California legal system. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles have experience protecting the rights of individuals going through a high net worth divorce and are committed to helping our clients get what they deserve.
Understanding What a High Net Worth Divorce Means for You
If you or your spouse owns substantial property or assets, your Los Angeles divorce may automatically become more complex and last far longer than it would under normal circumstances. And whether you and your spouse built your wealth together, or one of you entered the marriage as a high net worth individual, dividing your property during divorce will likely be a contentious issue. High net worth divorces often involve the following complex assets:
- Investment accounts
- Stock options, 401(k) plans, IRAs and Profit Sharing plans
- Closely held businesses
- Family businesses
- Shared businesses/partnerships
- Separate property holdings
- Real estate holdings and investments
- Property acquired before the marriage
If you have substantial property and assets, and you or your spouse are filing for divorce, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of how you could be affected by the split. For example, California is a community property state, which means that any assets and debts you and your spouse acquire as a couple in marriage belong to both of you equally and must therefore by divided equally in divorce. One of the main reasons high net worth divorces in Los Angeles are so complicated is that the parties filing for divorce often share high-valued assets, which makes dividing this property appropriately an extremely complicated undertaking.
Also, under California law, when a couple files for divorce, the higher-earning spouse may be ordered to pay alimony or spousal support to the other spouse in cases where the other spouse’s earning capacity doesn’t allow him or her to maintain the same or similar standard of living that was established during the marriage. Spousal support can be temporary or permanent, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, but in a high net worth divorce, there is no limit to the amount of alimony the court can order you to pay. If you signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, this can make the divorce process more straightforward. However, nothing compares to having an experienced divorce attorney on your side.
How to File for Divorce in Los Angeles
In order to file for divorce in the state of California, there are certain residency requirements that must first be established. First, either you or your spouse must have been a resident of the state for six months prior to the divorce filing, and the spouse doing the filing must have lived a minimum of three months in the county where he or she plans to file the divorce.
A divorce case in Los Angeles begins when the spouse requesting the divorce (the petitioner) files a petition for divorce, asking the court to dissolve the marriage and address any other issues arising out of the marital relationship, such as child custody, child support, spousal support and the division of debts and assets. If the other spouse (the respondent) fails to file a response to the petition for divorce, or the divorce is uncontested, meaning the parties are able to work together to settle their issues via written agreement, the petitioner can move forward with filling out the proper forms and filing them with the court. If the divorce is contested, meaning the parties are unable to agree on issues central to the divorce, the case will go to trial.
As you can see, the process of filing for divorce in Los Angeles is not all that different for high net worth individuals and entrepreneurs as it is for the average person, though with the former there are greater assets at risk. As a result, in high net worth divorces in Los Angeles, it becomes more important than ever that the high net worth spouse enlist the help of a knowledgeable divorce attorney and keep a careful accounting of his or her property and assets.
How an Experienced High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer Can Help
Any couple going through a divorce likely has to face the issue of asset and debt division, but when a couple’s or individual’s high net worth comes into play, the stakes are automatically higher and the two parties are often willing to fight harder and more aggressively to reach an outcome that is in their favor. An experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney can help you navigate the complex issues that come along with a high net worth divorce, including property settlement and spousal support. An important consideration in terms of property settlement, for example, is the fact that separate property, or property that the high net worth spouse owned prior to the marriage, are not included in California’s community property provision.
One way to avoid disputes that can cause divorce proceedings to drag on is to prepare a detailed accounting of your assets and any offshore accounts, real estate holdings and businesses, which can be complicated and time consuming. If you are involved in a high net worth divorce in Los Angeles, our legal team at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles can help you determine which property and assets are separate and which are marital and can help you establish the appropriate value for each. Our attorneys have a passion for representing clients in all areas of family law, including marital property division and asset protection, and are willing to go to battle on your behalf, should that become necessary.
Free High Net Worth Divorce Consultation in Los Angeles
No divorce is without its complications. However, the circumstances surrounding a high net worth divorce in Los Angeles can make the divorce process even more complicated and contentious. High net worth divorces in Los Angeles that involve significant marital assets require the help of an experienced divorce lawyer who isn’t afraid to aggressively represent your best interest in mediation or at trial if your case goes to court. Our attorneys at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles provide competent, professional representation for individuals involved in contested divorces involving significant assets, investments or business interests. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about protecting your wealth, contact our legal team today at (213) 550-4600 for a free initial consultation.