Results-Driven Complex Property Division Representation
Dividing community property in any California divorce can be cumbersome for the parties involved. Emotional attachments, financial concerns and tension between divorcing spouses are complicated issues to resolve. When business or professional interests, high-income situations and complex assets structures are involved, it is vitally important to work with an experienced professional team to create an individualized divorce strategy that considers your goals and objectives.
We Have the Skill and Experience for You, No Matter How Complex Your Situation
At Hoover ♦ Krepelka, LLP, in San Jose, our attorneys draw on substantial experience in high-asset property division disputes to develop a strong position for negotiations or trial. We know what questions to ask during discovery to obtain information from the other party. We frequently work with financial professionals — including forensic CPAs, business valuation specialists and appraisers — to obtain the value of closely held businesses, real property interests and other valuable items.
We are well-equipped to protect your best interests across a wide range of issues involving characterization and complex property division, including:
- Primary residences
- Vacation homes and real estate investments
- Business valuation and professional association interests
- Complex compensation packages and deferred stock options
- Spousal support matters
- Stocks, bonds and other investment accounts
- Pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s and other retirement accounts
- Offshore accounts
- Intangible assets, such as intellectual property rights
- Hidden assets
Speak Confidentially with an Accomplished High Asset Divorce Lawyer
Property Division and Assets FAQ
Can I force my ex-spouse to pay for children after 18 (because that is just the reality now)?
Unfortunately, in most cases, no. In California, parents must pay child support until the child turns 18 and is unmarried. If the child is enrolled in high school full-time and is not married, that obligation extends until they are 19 or whenever they graduate, whichever comes first. In addition, if a child is disabled and unable to earn a living, parents have an obligation to pay child support regardless of age. Beyond those circumstances, you can’t make your ex continue to pay—if you are looking ahead to expenses like college, you should negotiate an agreement as part of your overall divorce settlement.
In property division during a divorce, what happens to the house, and when?
The short answer is “it depends.” The first step is to determine what interest the community has in the property based on the source of funding for down-payment, mortgage payments, or outright purchase. Once it is determined there is a community interest, there are a few different possibilities. Some couples may choose to sell the house as part of the divorce, splitting any proceeds from the sale, especially if neither party is able to manage the expense of a mortgage, taxes, and upkeep alone. In other instances, one spouse may buy the other out of their equity in the home, or the couple may agree to retain the house for a period of time (for example, while their children are minors) before sale.
Why are some efforts of spouses during marriage and post-separation “compensated,” and some are not?
In California law, there are a number of circumstances in which separate property has been used to benefit the community or when community assets have been used to benefit one party that can qualify for reimbursement as laid out by statute. Examples can include when one spouse pays joint credit card debt accumulated during the marriage after separation with their own earnings; this may be eligible for reimbursement. Conversely, if one party is given exclusive use of the family home during separation, they may owe the community rent. Similarly, if marital assets were used to pay for one spouse’s education during marriage, the community may be entitled, under very specific circumstances, to be reimbursed for costs directly related to education. An attorney can help you determine which circumstances may apply in your case.
What can I financially do and not do during a divorce?
You must be extremely careful how you handle your finances during divorce. Income earned or debt incurred after separation is considered separate property, so do not run up debt in the expectation that it will be shared by your ex-spouse. If you are still using a joint bank account, carefully document any expenditures and only use those funds on joint expenses, as you may be required to pay back anything spent on personal uses. It is best to separate your finances as much as possible, and be completely transparent about what you’re doing; attempting to hide assets only makes the process more contentious and can damage your credibility with the court.
What should I be doing immediately before I file for divorce?
To prepare for divorce financially speaking, you should start by gathering copies of important financial and personal documents such as recent statements from bank and investment accounts, tax returns, registration and title information for property such as your house and car, property tax and other bills, etc. (This is especially important if you think your spouse will be uncooperative in sharing this information later.) You should also open new bank accounts in your name only, and make sure you have sufficient money in those accounts to cover your immediate needs if you suspect your spouse may attempt to cut off access to funds.
What do you mean, I don’t get support forever if I’ve been married for over 10 years?
The length of the marriage is only one factor considered in establishing spousal support duration after divorce. The expectation in California is that both spouses will become self-supporting within a reasonable amount of time post-divorce, with spousal support helping the supported spouse in the period while they are obtaining employment or resources that will meet their cost-of-living needs. There is no automatic threshold at which spousal support becomes permanent.
What if my ex-spouse does not disclose all of his/her assets and income?
If you suspect that your ex is deliberately hiding financial information in an attempt to withhold marital assets, a forensic accountant can help determine if something missing from the inventory of financial property, and if so, what might have happened to it. This can enable your attorney to use legal means such as requesting subpoenas to gain the information to uncover those assets.
Why are you telling me that my ex-spouse isn’t actually after every cent of mine?
Property division in divorce can be one of the most contentious parts of the process, with spouses often feeling that the other is demanding more than their fair share of marital property. However, it is rarely the case that an ex truly insists everything should belong to them, and it is not a realistic outcome for them to receive it. Our job is to give you our expert evaluation of the situation, based on the law and the facts, and advocate vigorously for the best possible outcome for you.
Answering Your Family Law Questions
The financial impact of divorce can be devastating, especially if you attempt to navigate the process without the benefit of experienced legal counsel. The family law firm of Hoover Krepelka is here to answer all your questions regarding family law issues, including property division in divorce. Our expertise can help ensure you have the information and support you need to negotiate the best possible divorce settlement. To schedule a consultation with an attorney, please fill out the form below.