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2015: San Diego High Asset Cases: Divorce & Legal Separation

What Is Considered a High Asset Case in San Diego Superior Court for a Legal Separation or Divorce?

Whether your case is a high asset case or not, the issues presented are the same: parenting plan; spousal support; child support; division of assets; division of debts and attorney fees. The law which applied to high asset cases for division of assets and debts and custody and visitation is the same for non high asset cases however there are some issues which are different. The term “high asset” has different meanings for many. For some involved in a divorce or legal separation in San Diego, a high asset case may mean having more then $1,000,000 in liquid assets. For some, this may mean having more than $1,000,000 in retirement assets. For others, it may be a business which generates more than $1,000,000 per year. Some cases in San Diego Superior Court have assets which have exceeded $100,000,000 and companies grossing more than $50,000,000 per year. For others, this may mean that they own their home with no mortgage which is valued over $500,000 and have liquid and retirement assets over $500,000. For some, $1,000,000 is not a high asset case and the threshold is $10,000,000 and for some over $20,000,000. No matter what the amount of the high asset case, the strategies and techniques will be similar but some will be different. For example, child support is calculated by the Disso Master program and is the law in San Diego Superior Court. In high earning payors, there is a deviation allowed from guideline in certain circumstances for a downward departure in the amount. Another example is spousal support. For temporary alimony [which means that the order is pre judgment], the Judges often use the same Disso Master program to calculate temporary spousal support however, if the amount of the guideline is higher than the need, then there may [as with child support above] be a downward departure.

What Experts Are Often Used in High Asset Cases for Divorce or Legal Separation in San Diego?

In a legal separation of divorce in San Diego Superior Court, there are many experts who can be used for high assets cases. First, a Special Master if often less expensive and much quicker than litigation. A Special Master is appointed by the Court to make written recommendations on the issues presented in the case. One issue, often, is income available for support. In family law in San Diego, income available for support is different than actual income. There can be many “add backs” which increase income. In addition, determining the community property interest in assets, and especially if an owner of a business, is a task that the Special Master can be assigned to. Second, often, a forensic CPA is needed. For example, the owner of a business will have access to attorneys, accountants and other staff and experts while the spouse which does not own the business may not have access to. It is important that both sides are able to present their relative positions to the special master and an forensic CPA can assist. In addition, there may be tax consequences in the division of assets which may be substantial. A tax attorney can assist in trying to minimize the tax consequences. At times, a private investigator is also engaged to assist.

How Can a Local and Experienced San Diego Law Firm Help?

The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can assist with your high asset case. The firm has represented both business owners and non business owners and can discuss the individual strategies and techniques which will protect your rights and give the best chance of obtaining your goals. The firm offers a complimentary and confidential consultation up to 30 minutes and you can obtain information to make the most intelligent decision about your case.

Client Reviews
Dear Roy, I would like to thank you and all team members as well as office staff for helping me defend in this case. It has been a difficult time for me during the last couple of weeks, and now because of this success result, I am able to move forward with my new chapter of life, even a little late at this age!!! Again with much appreciation, I wish you all to continue to do the same with a big heart as it was with me, in helping those who are in need of your professional services. W.
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