What is the best way to protect your assets in a contested San Diego divorce? The division of community property can be one of the most challenging aspects of many divorces. This is especially true when the underlying marriage lasted more than 10 years.
The first and most important issue is to work to remain calm and take your time. These are not rash or rush decisions. Not all assets with the same face value are actually equal. Other assets, such as a professional practice or business interest, require extensive work to ascertain an accurate valuation. If you don’t know the real value of an asset it is almost impossible to seek a fair and equitable distribution of community property.
If you wish to protect your interests in community property the best place to start is by organizing financial account and credit card statements, tax returns and information regarding all retirement vehicles such as 401(k)s for the past 3 years.
You don’t need to attempt any covert efforts here. If information was obtained through accessing private records (i.e. emails or secure apps) without your spouse’s consent it will probably not be admissible in Court. The Court will require both parties to make a full, transparent and accurate disclosure of all assets and debts in the name of either or both parties at the outset of divorce proceedings. Gather what is available and count on the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq to identify inaccurate information and to uncover any attempt to hide or undervalue assets.
The of the best strategies to protect your assets in a contested San Diego divorce is not to attempt to move or transfer any assets prior to the divorce without the advice of our counsel. Any attempt to underreport business income / revenues or valuation, move assets into any sort of legal vehicle such as a trust or to simply transfer them to a close friend or family member will be viewed as deception by the Court. In cases where the Court suspects foul play, the Judge may order accounts or assets to be frozen. This can create additional hurdles and challenges for all parties.
If you have children and wish to share parenting time with your former spouse it is also important to stay in the family home until our attorneys work with you to develop a move strategy. Moving out could be used against your interests during custody and parenting time discussions.
If you are concerned about public disclosure which might damage your business interests or investment you should give serious consideration to mediation. Mediation is a private, confidential venue which keeps all of your personal information (and potentially embarrassing or compromising documents and information) out of the public record.
The best way to protect your assets in a contested San Diego divorce is to seek the advice and counsel of the experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. We will work together to analyze your unique situation and develop strategies to protect what is important to you.