San Diego Complex Property Division Lawyers
Complex property cases are challenging when you are going through a contested California divorce. Cases involving large businesses and assets generally require detailed accounting and valuation. This can be costly and time-consuming. Our San Diego divorce lawyers utilize the services of property assessors, accountants, and other valuation experts to ensure that the property in your case is fairly valued.
Courts sometimes have difficulty dealing with high-value assets in San Diego divorce cases. This is due to the fact that worth can sometimes be ambiguous; the value of businesses, collectibles, and unique items can often be disputed. In such instances it will be necessary to utilize forensic accounting and independent property assessors in order to ensure that all assets are valued fairly. Examples of assets which may go through this type of process include:
- All businesses, including S corporations, C corporations, and LLCs. A business can be on a separate property owned by one person, or a joint property owned by the couple. When evaluating a separate property, the courts will review what assets fall under the business’s name, any debts the business owes, its income, and other factors. A business’s assets will fall under the categories of tangible or intangible, with tangible assets including office equipment, vehicles, furniture, and inventory. The intangible assets of a business can include things like trademarks, patents, or client lists.
- Professional practices including medical and dental offices, law firms, accounting firms, veterinarian clinics, and accounting firms. Similar to the division of a business in a divorce, professional practices are valued according to their assets such as furniture, equipment, and stock. Valuing a professional practice in a divorce differs in that the courts will also look at current clients or patients, as well as whether the business owner has created “goodwill.” Goodwill is an intangible asset beyond the value of a practice’s combined physical assets. It can include things such the practice’s reputation, efficiency, location, and other factors.
- All real estate property including rental property, second homes, vacation property, and commercial property. California is one of a handful of states that considers marital property to be community property. Generally, this means that all real estate owned by the couple during their marriage will be split equally during a divorce. This carries with it a higher risk of property division disputes. For example, when one spouse paid for upgrades or purchased a property for the benefit of the other spouse, this can complicate divorce proceedings.
- Other investments including stocks, bonds, artwork, antiques, collectible items, etc. Because of California’s community property laws, one spouse’s stock portfolio will be divided evenly between the couple. Because most antiques, art collections, and collectibles cannot be evenly divided, there will be an appraisal of the value of these tangible assets that are owned by the couple. The value of the items, rather than the items themselves, will be split in a divorce.
It is important that you utilize the right experts and that you be prepared to challenge the experts of the other side. Many attorneys struggle with how to proceed in complex financial cases and it is imperative that you hire someone qualified to handle such matters.
Our San Diego family law attorneys have a long-standing reputation with highly regarded valuation experts, and we will place a fair worth on your assets and debts. Our firm’s founder is a certified family law specialist who has experience in challenging property valuations concocted by the other side when high-dollar assets are in dispute. In addition to hiring the right experts, we will utilize the discovery process to ensure that the other side does not establish incorrect value claims with the court. We have handled numerous complex property divorces and are ready to assist you.
It is important to consider tax implications when valuable property is being divided in a divorce. When a couple divides community property based on emotion rather than careful planning, unexpected and long-term tax consequences may occur. Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., will explain your tax situation to you and will help you divide your assets with the help of tax consultants. It is important to consider the situation from every angle when valuable assets are on the line.
Our San Diego complex property division lawyers will ensure that your property is protected and your long-term future is considered. Call today at (858) 458-9500 for a consultation.
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