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

In San Diego, many parties in a legal separation or divorce may have high assets or high income. The definition of high income or high assets varies depending on the assets and income. Some definitions include high assets as those valued at more than $1 million. In San Diego, given the still high value of residences, many parties who own a residence may have the residence valued at more than $500,000. A consideration is the equity and not just the value since the residence may be worth less than what is owed. Also, in San Diego, many parties may have retirement plans including IRA’s, KEOGH’s, vested stock options, non vested stock options, restricted stock units, 401K, 403B and others. There may be bank accounts and stock accounts as well as mutual funds. In San Diego, a high income may be over $100,000 per year to some and over $500,000 annually to others

In any high asset or high net worth legal separation or divorce, it is important to analyze the character as whether it is community, separate or quasi community. Community property is that which is acquired either after the date of marriage or before the date of separation. While many think of an inheritance or gift received during the marriage as separate property, this is not a correct analysis. The inheritance or gift received during marriage is community property but this does not mean it will be divided equally in the divorce or legal separation. A careful tracing needs to be completed as inheritances or gifts can involve large sums. In addition, an analysis of whether there was commingling or transmutation has to be undertaken. Separate property is that which is acquired either before the date of marriage or after the date of separation. Quasi community property is that which would be community property if it was in California but is located outside California either in another state or even in another country.

In any high income divorce or legal separation, if child support and/or spousal support is an issue, a calculation needs to be obtained. In California, for child support, the state guideline is calculated by a program called the Disso Master. Our office has this program and can calculate this amount for you. No attorney can guarantee the outcome of any case but a calculation with the Disso Master can give a realistic expectation and assist in a settlement. For child support, the calculation with the Disso Master is for both temporary [pre judgment] and permanent [post judgment]. For spousal support, the Judges in San Diego often use the Disso Master for temporary [pre judgment] orders but use the factors under Family Law Code Section 4320 for permanent [post judgment] orders.

Please feel free to contact us to discuss your high asset, high net worth or high income divorce or legal separation.

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