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High Net Worth / High Asset / High Income Divorce or Legal Separation

There can be many cases of divorce or legal separation around the globe that involve both the parties having a very high net worth, income or amount of assets. In a place like San Diego, these cases are not uncommon. Divorce lawyers come across such cases on a routine basis when people of high financial status come to them to tell them that it isn’t working between them, and they think that getting a legal separation or divorce might work in either one [or both] of their interests. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has represented many clients with net worths in the millions of dollars. A complimentary and confidential consultation can be scheduled by calling 800-769-4748. A California licensed attorney will discuss the issues in your pending case and give you legal advice for your case and the free consultation can last up to 30 minutes.

The definition of high net worth depends upon the standards of financial status in different areas, and these standards may vary from place to place. The word ‘high net worth’ can be relative to different places and depends upon the value of assets an individual has to their name or the income that they are earning. For some, the meaning of high assets is referred to as someone having assets valued at over a million dollars. But in San Diego, given that the values of residencies are relatively quite high, anyone owning a house or a flat most probably owns one over around half a million dollars in their residence alone.  For many, high assets can bring complications in the division of assets and debts. For some, estate planning and trust documents can be relevant in the family law analysis. In other cases, companies which were started either during the marriage [or even before the marriage] need to be legally analyzed for character. There are three types of character of property: community; separate and quasi community.

Also, some of the retirement plans will add up to the net worth of someone too. In San Diego, some of these retirement plans are KEOGH’s, IRA’s, nonvested and vested stock options, 403B, 401K, restricted stock units, and some others as well. Many parties in San Diego have these retirement plans, which are counted in the net worth and assets. Some other things that can add up to the net worth of someone could be other bank accounts, mutual funds, and stock accounts. San Diego is a diverse locality, and a high-income level may range from a hundred thousand dollars annually to five hundred thousand dollars or over one million dollars per year. Also, an analysis needs to be made whether the income is from earned income during the community or may be income from separate property acquired before the marriage.

For divorce or legal separation involving the matters of high net worth, assets, or income, we must first look at the scenario in detail. First, the character should be analyzed, whether it is a separate, a community, or quasi-community as above. But even before that, we must undertint the actual meaning of these terminologies. Community properties are those properties that are acquired from the date of marriage to date of separation. For the case of separate property, many think that things that are passed on as inheritance or, are gifted from someone come under the category of separate property. However, this analysis is not entirely correct. During a divorce or legal separation, a gift or something passed on in the name of inheritance might be considered as the property of the community, but it is not accurate to believe that it will be equally divided among both parties.

As gifts or inheritances could be involving huge amounts, an analysis must be done very carefully to look out for any possible misrepresentations as to character in the preliminary declarations of disclosure including the schedule of assets and debts and the supporting documents. A legal anlysis, in the case of transmutation or commingling, must be undertaken and the assistance of a forensic CPA may be required depending on the complexity. Property that is acquired either after the separation date or before the marriage date is termed as separate property. The rule of Quasi-community property applies to California and says that the property would be declared as community property if it was in California, even though when it is anywhere outside California.

In the case of spousal support or child support, income must be carefully analyzed and calculated in matters of high-income legal separation or divorce. There are many different types of income including earned and unearned income. Disso Master is a program in San Diego that is used as a guideline for calculation in case of child support in California Courts. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has this program in their office and can calculate any such amounts for their clients. Attorneys cannot guarantee the outcomes of such cases, but through this method, at least a realistic estimate can be made. Disso Master can be used in both types of child support cases: pre-judgment or post-judgment.

Feel free to contact the experienced attorney at the Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC to discuss your high net worth, asset, or income legal separation or divorce. Please feel free to bring a list of questions and the lawyer will do their best to answer with a realistic outcome based on their education, training and experience. High net worth divorces and legal separations can be complex and, unfortunately, high conflict as well. Whether you live in Rancho Santa Fe or Del Mar or La Jolla or other affluent community in San Diego, know your rights and get legal information which is current and accurate.

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