If you are divorcing or if you are anticipating a divorce in the state of California, the fair and equitable division of marital assets is imperative for the proper dissolution of a marriage, but in many cases in California, arriving at a fair and equitable division of marital assets–also known as community property–can be quite a complex challenge. This is where Zech Law can help.
Zech Law will aggressively defend the rights of our divorce clients, and insist on the full disclosure and the accurate valuation of all marital assets. These assets can take many forms including but not limited to:
Zech Law is highly experienced in handling these complex arrangements. We routinely handle difficult, contested, and high-net worth divorce cases that involve disputes regarding spousal support and property division.
Marital property includes all of the assets earned or acquired by either individual during the course of a marriage with the exception of property received solely by one spouse as a gift or inheritance. Both sides in a California divorce proceeding are required by law to disclose honestly and completely all of their debts, properties, and assets.
In some marriages, however, one spouse has surreptitiously concealed, encumbered, transferred, or sold marital property or assets without the other spouse’s awareness or consent. If necessary, Zech Law will work with forensic accountants and other experts throughout a divorce proceeding to trace, locate, and assess the value of any hidden assets. During a divorce proceeding, disagreements may also emerge between spouses over the value of particular properties and/or assets. Matters can get even more complicated when the marital assets include a family business.
Even if you have built a thriving business separate from your spouse, if you’ve built the business while you were married, in the state of California that business might be considered a marital asset. In a California divorce that business will be subject to a division or a buyout in a divorce proceeding.
The first problem with real estate is accurately determining its precise value. The fluctuating nature of real estate markets and other economic factors can sometimes make it genuinely difficult to be precise. A second problem is determining if a property will be sold or if it will be retained by one spouse in exchange for some other consideration. Location, market conditions, and the amount of debt owed on a property are among the factors that have to be considered.
Another issue that can significantly complicate a divorce in the state of California is the division of retirement plans. The retirement plans that a spouse may be able to claim include but are not necessarily limited to pensions, IRAs, 401Ks, and 403Bs. Especially for anyone over fifty who is divorcing or contemplating a divorce in this state, you must do everything that you can to protect your retirement savings. Zech Law will guide you to the best solution that protects that asset.
Art sometimes has personal value beyond its financial worth, so dividing art in a divorce settlement can be far more difficult than dealing with most other kinds of property. If no agreement regarding jointly-owned works of art can be reached, the court may order a sale of the items so that the proceeds can be evenly divided.
If you owned a pet prior to the marriage, you will probably be able to keep the pet. However, because a family court’s top priority is always the best interests of a child, when a child has become attached to a pet, that attachment will carry substantial weight with the court. Every divorce is difficult, and every divorce is different, so you must be represented by a family law attorney with considerable experience handling a variety of divorce-related legal disputes.