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Understanding And Helpful Newport Beach Asset Division Attorneys

As a newlywed, you may not have asked yourself whether the state you reside in is a community property state or heard of lingo such as equitable distribution. But when a marriage ends in divorce, you may suddenly find yourself having to make difficult decisions and have emotionally charged discussions with someone you thought you would be with for the long term. Divorces quickly turn contentious when both spouses realize that they need to figure out how their property is going to be divided between them.

Nelson Kirkman has served the people of Orange County since 1998. As long-serving, reputable family law attorneys, we can advocate for you as we guide you through the many stages of asset and debt division. We regularly handle high-asset divorces involving businesses, as well.

Coping With The Emotional Challenges

In the most ideal of situations, a couple can be cordial enough to talk about how they want to divide property between themselves. But in other cases, the parting spouses may fight relentlessly about who should get what because they are driven by the strong emotions they are feeling from the divorce. Hopefully, if you are in a divorce right now, you and your ex are able to split up debts, assets and property cooperatively. While most people do not get the chance to thoughtfully decide what kind of divorce they want to have, the kind of divorce you are going through can have an impact on asset division.

Why Seek Legal Help For Asset Division?

If you are concerned about asset division during your divorce, know you are not alone. It is only normal to worry about what will happen to your most valued and prized possessions. You will also benefit from knowledgeable insight about dividing stock options and retirement assets. A divorce attorney is a great person to turn to who can help you through the steps of divorce so that you can reach finalization faster and with more of your preferences considered. Maybe you acquired certain assets that are more important to you and will benefit you more in the future. This is especially true if your divorce is of a high-asset nature, which means you may require extra guidance.

Your lawyer can help negotiate with your spouse and his or her lawyer in hopes of reaching an agreeable solution. We can’t always prevent the worst from happening in life, but there are family members and friends who can support us through it, along with legal professionals who know the law and can assist people in the most trying of times. When divorce is overwhelming and assets division must be discussed, it helps to have a dedicated Orange County family lawyer to protect you.

What Does It Mean For California To Be A Community-Property State?

Unlike most states, California uses the community property rule of divorce asset division. In California, divorcing spouses are required to split their community property 50-50. “Community property,” sometimes called marital property, means everything you and your spouse acquired during your marriage (with certain exceptions). On the other hand, separate property are things that you or your spouse owned before your marriage began. Unless their separate property has become co-mingled with community property, each spouse gets to keep 100% of it.

As you might guess, the question of whether certain valuable assets, such as a bank account or real estate, are community or separate property can potentially cause a lot of conflict in a high-wealth divorce. Your property division attorney will need to review bank account statements and other documents to get a clear picture of all the properties at stake and whether each item falls into the community or a separate pool.

Signs Of Hidden Assets In A Divorce

It is all too common for one spouse to try to hide cash, investments and other valuable assets from the other during divorce. This can be especially tempting when one spouse is in charge of all financial matters during the marriage. The other spouse might be in the dark about what their community property actually is and what it is worth.

Fortunately, with proper investigation by your attorney and experts such as a forensic accountant, it is possible to reveal hidden assets and get your half of the community property. Possible signs that your spouse is concealing assets from you include:

  • One spouse handles all the finances and refuses to discuss them.
  • Only one spouse has the account information, such as account numbers and online login information.
  • One spouse takes frequent, sudden business trips.

If you suspect your ex is not being honest about the community assets, documents like your income tax returns can provide your property division lawyer clues leading to the truth.

Do You Need To Abide By California’s Property Division Rules For Legal Separation?

A legal separation is very similar to a divorce. The main difference is that the marriage is still legally intact at the end. Property division still occurs under the community property rules.

What Happens To Any Debt In An Orange County Divorce?

Divorce law treats debt the same way it does assets. Debts acquired during the marriage, such as a mortgage or small business loan, belong to both parties 50-50. Debts that one spouse took on prior to the marriage are potentially separate property that they are solely responsible for.

Speak With A Family Law Attorney Who Can Advise You

When it comes to such a high-stakes divorce process as asset distribution, Nelson Kirkman is the firm to help you. Discuss your goals, needs and options by scheduling an initial consultation with us. Please call our Newport Beach office at 949-430-6952 or send us an email to begin.