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Bay Area Family Law Blog

High assets and prenuptial agreements complicate divorce

Getting divorced in California is a relatively complex process, particularly when your family has more assets than most. The more possessions like second homes, investment properties, stocks, bonds and retirement accounts you own, the more complex asset division becomes. In some cases, if the property, like a vacation home, belonged to one spouse before the marriage, it can easily remain the property of that individual. For most everything else, California is a community property state. All income and assets accrued during your marriage should be shared evenly between spouses.

Of course, one spouse typically makes more. The discrepancy can be quite substantial in cases where one spouse stays home to care for the house and children. Because of community property laws and the complex nature of asset division, it's critical that you speak with an experienced California divorce attorney as soon as you know a divorce is imminent. Your attorney can help determine the best strategy for asset division and can even determine accurate values for more complex assets, such as fine art or valuable collectibles. Trying to divorce without an attorney could cost you a lot of assets.

Who gets the vacation home? Property division in California

Divorce can be a messy business, especially when it comes to property division and child custody issues. You've worked hard to accumulate your assets and the last thing you want is to watch a judge divide your property between you and your ex without any consideration of the personal importance of each piece of property.

If you don't have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place, you could be subjected to California's community property laws. However, before proceeding with divorce, seek the advice of legal counsel experienced with family law so that you are aware of and understand all of your options and legal rights.

Getting divorced? Here are five things you should know about alimony

Alternately referred to as "spousal support" or "maintenance", alimony is a form of financial support issued as payments made from one spouse to the other following their divorce.

1. Every alimony award is different

The amount of alimony you will receive or pay id determined by a variety of factors and is unique to each divorcing couple. In California, courts must look at the twelve factors listed in the California Family Code. These factors range from the standard of living that each party was accustomed to during the marriage to the job skills the lower-income spouse has, and even the length of the marriage.

Can men be awarded alimony?

Traditionally, spousal support has been something for ex-wives. Yet, the trajectory of the employment disparity between men and women has changed and it's becoming more and more likely that a man can receive alimony or spousal support from his ex-wife. It's critical that you consult a seasoned and capable divorce attorney in order to understand all of your options. But below are some contributing factors that may influence whether or not you would be eligible for alimony.

Income disparity

Although men still tend to make more than women overall when it comes to median income, this is not always true across the board. Depending on who was the breadwinner in the marriage, the other party may be more likely to come away with some type of monetary support.

"Mark, I have no words to tell you how much I appreciated your work." — Former Client