Whose Business is it Anyway?

Maybe it was love at first sight. Or, you knew each other in high school and then ran into each other and dated for a few years before marriage. You were both ready, in love, and as poor as could be. But what did that matter, you were in love, and it was going to last forever. Along the way, one of you really made it big. The other spouse gave up their career to help start a business, perhaps, or worked to put the other through school. Either way, one of you stayed home, ran the family and the other started to make big money. Life was great, your lifestyle was reflecting the new found wealth. A bigger house, fancy cars, travel, dinners in expensive restaurants. You're in Orange County, and living the lifestyle made famous on television. You're not just well off now, you're rich. Really rich. And then, from seemingly out of nowhere, the spouse who is on top of the world wants out. You've been dumped. And it's their business, right? Maybe so, but you're entitled to part of it.

In a current celebrity case, reality television star Bethenny Frankel and her husband, Jason Hoppy find themselves in a similar scenario. When they met, he was a relatively successful salesperson, and she had had a rather stagnant and varied career. As her business began to take off, they decided that Jason would give up his job, and help with various aspects of the business. Eventually, they sold off their Skinny Girl line for over $20 million. Now, they are divorcing. This will be an interesting case to watch.

What many people do not realize is that a business started during the course of marriage, is considered community property. It is important to know what your options are. Often times, when you start out with little or no money you never even consider a prenuptial agreement. If you had one in place, it could make the marital settlement agreement go much faster. In the case of another celebrity divorce, Tom Cruise Katy Holmes had a 30 day settlement largely because of their pre nup.

In California, alimony - or spousal support, is based on the standard of law which states that the marital standard of living at the date of separation is the guiding factor. The California Family Code Section 4320 is gender blind - which means that either a man or a woman may receive spousal support, and is entitled to continue the standard of living to which they were accustomed.

You don't have to be a celebrity to have a high asset divorce. But you do need an attorney who is experienced and qualified to handle such cases. Contact the Irvine, Ca Law Offices of Hollie A. Lemkin today for a consultation and to make a plan for the rest of your life. Hollie will work with you and guide you through this painful and difficult time. Call 949-734-4788 to schedule your initial meeting. Hollie is a Certified Family Law Specialist with offices in Orange County, California.