Rancho Cucamonga High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
When Your Money and Property Is on the Line
At Chung & Ignacio, LLP, we recognize that most divorces aren't simple. The process isn't just emotionally difficult, it can also be financially difficult and legally complex, especially when there are a lot of assets involved.
On This Page
- What You Need to Know About High Net-Worth Divorce
- Defending Your Finances
- Dealing with Hidden Assets
- Preparing for Property Division
- High Asset Divorces: Helping Navigate Turbulent Waters
- Mistakes to Avoid in High Net Worth Divorce
When your property is on the line, call (909) 726-7112 to speak with an experienced Rancho Cucamonga high net worth divorce lawyer at Chung & Ignacio, LLP.
Each divorce has its own set of challenges, and couples with a large number of assets often face several difficulties associated with their high net-worth. More assets in a divorce can lead to several other complications, and it could make the entire divorce process lengthier and more stressful. In addition to issues associated with asset division, wealthier couples might run into other financial upsets associated with their divorce.
Once you and your spouse have made the decision to move forward with a divorce, take some time to take stock of your finances. You want to make sure you know what accounts, investments, and properties your spouse has access to. Anyone should do this at the start of a divorce, but folks with a significant amount of assets should be extra vigilant because they have more assets to keep an eye on. In most situations, it is best to have a financial advisor or accountant to keep watch over your accounts for you. If your spouse attempts to take out a large sum from one of your accounts, or if they attempt to make other significant financial changes, you should be aware of it.
Also, you should have your own accounts once you decide to divorce. Just in case your spouse decides to do something deceptive with your finances, its best to protect yourself by opening your own bank accounts and credit cards that are in your name only. By opening your own accounts, you can prevent your spouse from tampering with your money. Having your own private accounts also gives you more privacy—you do not want your spouse monitoring your expenses and bringing up your spending habits before a judge.
At the start of the divorce process, each party is required to present a document to the court with a complete record of the funds and assets they own. This includes marital property owned by both parties during the marriage and separate property, like heirlooms and inheritances owned by one spouse individually. If either party lies on this financial document and tries to hide certain assets from the court and from their spouse, they could face serious legal consequences. Hiding assets is akin to lying to the court, which could be considered a criminal offense. In some situations, you might even be found in contempt of court for trying to hide assets.
If your spouse gets away with lying, they could rob you of certain assets that might otherwise have been given to you. In order to avoid this type of deception, make sure you hire the appropriate legal team to protect your rights.
If you suspect your spouse may be hiding assets, your attorney can work with financial experts, like forensic accountants, to identify any hidden assets and present evidence to the court.
Property division is always one of the more difficult aspects of any divorce, but with high-asset couples, this step can be particularly grueling. Simply put, couples with more assets have more to divide, which makes the property division last even longer. High net-worth couples might also have complex properties, assets, and investments that are difficult to divide, which can make things more problematic and contentious.
In any case, when you have a large number of assets, its best to prepare for this stage of your divorce extensively by discussing your options with your attorney and deciding which assets are a priority to you. Assess your properties and tell your attorney what you absolutely must keep, that way they can prioritize those assets during the negotiations.
A divorce between a couple with a high net worth can be complex. While this will not be handled in a different situation, it's important to realize that it will have extra nuances that could prove to be difficult. For example, in many situations in which one or both couples have high worth, it is likely that a detailed prenuptial agreement was created to protect assets in the possibility of a divorce. There are also difficulties that will occur when it comes to property division.
All of the following could prove to be extremely difficult when looking to navigate through a divorce:
- Increasing future earning potential;
- Stock options and 401(k) accounts;
- Trusts and wills;
- Real estate value; and
- Business ownership
All of these can complicate the process and require more legwork. If you are looking to protect your legal rights, it is highly encouraged that you do not hesitate to consult with an experienced high-asset divorce attorney you can trust. By working with a knowledgeable lawyer, you will be able to rest assured that every step possible will be made to help you through the situation you find yourself facing.
Some of the most complex divorces involve extensive property and assets, which is why people of high net worth often have the hardest time finalizing the process. These individuals often have extremely complicated financial portfolios and might have several real estate properties and businesses as well. If they never signed a prenuptial agreement (prenup) before marrying, California law requires that each spouse split community assets exactly in half. If you’re facing a similar situation, here are 3 mistakes others have made that you should avoid repeating.
People of high net worth are the most likely to try and hide away pockets of assets where their spouse can’t find them. However, they might not be able to hide this financial trail from a good forensic accountant. If your spouse or your spouse’s attorney thinks you might be hiding assets from the property division process, they might hire a forensic accountant to try and find out the truth. Not only will you lose out on the money you’ve been trying to keep safe, but your gestures will be viewed as fraudulent by the court and you will lose credibility (which could cost you more in the settlement later).
Agreeing to Anything
Some people want out of their marriages so badly they will agree to any terms and conditions regardless of the consequences. However, barring a circumstance involving domestic abuse, don’t rush into any decision regarding your marriage that could affect your financial future. Have a skilled attorney look over the terms of alimony or division of assets and debts to ensure you’re not losing out on potentially thousands of dollars to your ex.
Not Considering Tax Consequences
Many people make this mistake, regardless of whether or not the financial stakes are high. Tax considerations are an enormous aspect of high net worth divorces. For example, did you know that you will have to pay taxes if you and your spouse decide to sell the house? Likewise, if your spouse keeps the house and you pay out your ownership of the home, you will have to pay a tax on that profit. Taxes can account for a huge chunk of change after the divorce is over, which many don’t expect. Talk to a certified financial divorce specialist or an accountant specializing in divorce to find out what the potential tax consequences might be in your divorce.
Call a Knowledgeable High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer
As one of the premier family law firms in the Rancho Cucamonga area, we are proud to provide our clients with legal representation on which they can truly count. Should you decide to work with our firm, you can be confident knowing that you have an advocate on your side doing whatever it takes to secure a favorable outcome. We know just how much is on the line with a case of this nature and will do everything that we can to defend your legal rights. So don't wait! When your future is on the line, you simply cannot afford to procrastinate. Give us a call today at (909) 726-7112 and learn more about how we can help you through this trying time.