When you make a marriage commitment, it is intended to be long-term so you can build a life with your partner. Over the years, you may choose to have children, create a successful business together, or invest in your dream home. Unfortunately, many marriages end in divorce. One partner may be unfaithful, so their spouse decides to leave. There may be physical or emotional abuse from one partner, so it is unsafe to remain in the marriage. In some cases, spouses find that they are simply no longer compatible. Making the decision to end your marriage is always difficult, no matter the circumstances, but there are particular challenges to consider when you are coming out of a high asset marriage.
Your high net worth may be the result of an inheritance you received upon the passing of a grandparent. The interior design business that you built with your spouse could have been extremely successful over the years, so you now share a significant amount of assets. However you acquired your assets, now that you have made the decision to divorce, you will have to determine how those assets will be divided. An experienced family law attorney from the Law Offices of Hollie A. Lemkin, APC, can help you understand the divorce laws in California, create a plan to divide your shared assets correctly and finalize your divorce.
You have decided that it is time to end your marriage because you are no longer happy or fulfilled, but you are unsure of the next steps. Navigating the courts can be daunting under any circumstances, but especially when you are facing an emotionally charged situation like a high asset divorce. When you choose to move forward with your divorce, there are four steps that you will follow.
Overall, the divorce process in California is pretty simple and straightforward, comprised of just these four steps. It can become more complicated for couples who have a lot of assets because the process of sharing all of their financial information and separating those assets can be tedious and extremely complicated.
You spent years building a successful real estate business with your spouse, and now you are able to afford several homes and high-quality cars. If your grandparents wanted to help you establish a life for yourself when you completed college, they might have established a trust for you that left you several million dollars that you carried into your marriage. You may have accumulated wealth that you have created together or because one spouse was left money in an inheritance. If you and your spouse have a high net worth and choose to divorce, you will have to complete a high net worth divorce. This process can be more complicated than other divorces because you are likely to have more assets with an overall higher value.
One of the most challenging steps in finalizing a divorce in California is dividing assets. You have to provide a detailed list of all of your assets like real estate that you own, valuable jewelry or antiques you have, and how much income you bring into the home regularly. Making sure that this information is correct is essential because it is used to determine which assets you will keep after the divorce and what will go to your spouse.
California is a community property state, which means that any assets you gain during your marriage will be split evenly between spouses during a divorce. This is relatively easy to do with physical assets like books or an art collection because those things can be divided into two equal shares, with one given to each spouse. You may have no interest in keeping half of your spouse’s vintage baseball card collection, so you can have the collection evaluated to make sure that you receive assets that are equal to the value of the collection. For some assets, however, the process is much harder.
If you and your spouse purchased a family home several years into your marriage, neither one of you may want to give up living there. You have amassed years of memories raising your children there, and the thought of living anywhere else may be painful. If spouses cannot agree on who gets to stay in the home, then, unfortunately, the court may require that the home be sold so that the spouses can split the value of it. If you are unhappy with any decisions being made or your spouse is unwilling to compromise, you may need to work with a mediator to finalize your high asset division.
Sometimes couples that are divorcing just cannot mutually agree on certain decisions to be made or assets to be divided. Or perhaps there is contention over which parent is responsible for paying the other child support. Mediation may be the solution to making the process easier to traverse. During mediation, you will be able to explain what you want out of the divorce, like keeping your favorite china set or splitting custody 50/50 with the other parent, and the mediator will tell you whether or not your requests are possible. Mediation is not a requirement but may be beneficial to achieve quicker results, especially if you are trying to settle complicated disagreements with a spouse in a high asset divorce case.
In order to secure the services of an Orange County divorce attorney, you will likely have to pay a retainer fee prior to your case beginning. This fee ensures your lawyer will support you and direct your steps to make the smartest decisions throughout the duration of your case and address any potential hiccups along the way. For example, disagreements with your spouse that you did not foresee being an issue. You can expect to pay between $3,000 and $5,000 for a retainer for a divorce attorney in California.
The looming cost of a divorce may seem scary to consider when you are ready to start your official divorce proceedings. When you file your initial petition for the dissolution of your marriage, it will cost over $400. If motions or extensions need to be filed along the way, like a motion to change a child support agreement, the court might require a fee, as well. If you work with an experienced divorce attorney, they will also charge either a flat rate or an hourly fee, depending on how difficult your case is. Overall, you can expect to spend several thousand dollars to finalize your divorce. The peace of mind that you made the best decisions for your family and their future is, however, priceless.
Some individuals may put off divorcing their spouse because the thought of paying for an attorney is daunting when they have so many other expenses. An experienced divorce attorney can cost thousands of dollars through the course of the case because of their hourly rate. Fortunately, if you need a divorce and cannot pay for an attorney because you are a stay-at-home parent getting back into the workforce, for example, you will be able to complete the divorce process on your own through California’s family court self-services.
Utilizing an experienced divorce attorney can be a tremendous advantage in the outcome of your divorce proceedings because they will know how to go about getting the fairest and most equitable result for you. When you are looking for an Orange County high asset divorce attorney, you should consider things like their education, results, and experience. An attorney who finished law school three years ago and has only worked with ten divorce clients may not be as effective or helpful as a skilled divorce attorney who has spent decades in the courts helping clients through the process.
The emotions that come with a divorce can be difficult because you could easily cycle between anger, fear, sadness, and anxiety at any point in the process. It can be even more difficult navigating a high asset divorce because you do not want to lose assets you worked hard for, like designer handbags or a thriving business. Hollie A. Lemkin has over two decades of experience with family law, so she will be able to predict possible challenges in your case and help protect you. Contact the Law Offices of Hollie A. Lemkin, APC, so you can have a strong team backing you every step of the way.
Hollie Lemkin is the daughter, granddaughter, sister, and aunt to lawyers. She knows that Family Law is about more than winning. It is about inflicting the least amount of collateral damage on your children and putting your family in the most advisable possible position moving forward. A passionate trial lawyer, she will never back down from a fight.
She is exactly the attorney you want in your corner.