Property division in a divorce isn’t simply a 50% division of all assets. Generally speaking, the court is seeking a fair and equal division of community property between the former spouses. Part of the art and experience our attorneys bring to the table during any divorce are the creative solutions necessary to achieve a fair property division using “offsetting assets.”
One example involves the ownership of a business. If a husband and wife own a business, and both are working for the company and earning a living the property division can become quite complex. The Court would not usually order the sale of the business and divide the proceeds. Yet each party in this example may be entitled to 50% of the value of that business. When both parties are earning their income from that company one is going to likely have to move on to another job after the divorce. Does this result in a loss of income and is that part of the marital settlement? In addition to the actual valuation of the business there is a financial value to the “goodwill” the parties bring to the company.
Property division in a divorce isn’t simply a 50% division of all assets down the middle. When divorce involves complex assets such as multiple investment accounts, home ownership, 401k or other retirement assets and business ownership our attorneys work to protect our clients interests and accomplish their goals. We work to achieve a property settlement that is fair and equitable. This may require one party to accept the family home and its equity and a share of other assets in order to offset the value of the business ownership interests.
In some cases, the parties may have enough business respect for one another and the contributions they give to the company and a professional working relationship that allows the company to continue and each to maintain an interest in the working business. The settlement agreement may contain a “phasing out” of one of the parties over time and appropriate compensation for lost income and their portion of the business asset.
These cases require attorneys with extensive experience and effective negotiation and trial skills. The attorneys at Burke and Domercq are both California Family Law Certified Specialists, and have received recognition from major legal industry sources such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. We have a proven track record of achieving results for our clients, especially in complex cases involving substantial assets.