Many divorces in this area involve high net-worth. These types of divorces can be lengthy and complicated. A high asset divorce will require experienced legal counsel to make sure the process is fair and just for both parties. Below is a little more information on what divorces involving high net-worth may entail. For more information about your particular case, do not hesitate to speak with our Agoura Hills high net-worth divorce lawyers.

What Constitutes a High-Asset Divorce in Agoura Hills?

Assets in California include everything from tangible property to intangible assets. Any asset obtained during the marriage is typically considered joint or community property. Examples of assets include:

  • Investments
  • Real estate
  • Financial accounts
  • Stock options
  • Retirement benefits
  • Pension benefits
  • Intellectual property
  • Businesses.

There isn’t a legal definition to distinguish a high-asset divorce versus any other divorce. Typically, when assets are liquidated, a divorce is a high net-worth if the net liquid assets total at least $1,000,000. Our experienced attorneys in Agoura Hills could assess an individual’s divorce and determine if it would constitute a high net-worth case.

How are Assets Valued in High Net-Worth Divorces?

There are many methods to value assets in a high net-worth divorce. One thing that is certain is experts will be necessary to analyze the worth of many different types of assets, especially those assets that are intangible.

Consider business or professional practice as an example. Businesses are community assets if built during the marriage and sometimes if started before the marriage. Businesses have attached to them tangible and intangible worth. The physical aspects of the property are tangible and can be more easily assessed than the value of its intangible parts. Much of this “intangible” part is referred to as goodwill. Goodwill is intangible property and its worth is in excess of the physical assets of the business.

Tangible property of a business or professional practice include:

  • physical assets (e.g., equipment, property)
  • net proceeds
  • spousal labor.

Intangible property of a business or professional practice include:

  • advertising
  • systems and controls of the business
  • location
  • repeat customers/clients
  • workforce skill and training.

To derive at a value, two basic but different approaches may be taken: market value approach or excess earnings approach. The market value approach considers what someone would pay for the business or professional practice. The excess earnings approach is a bit more technical and uses an equation that accounts for:

  • the value of the business
  • the earnings attributable to a return on assets
  • the appropriate rate of capitalization for earnings attributable to net tangible assets
  • the earnings in excess of those attributable to a return on assets
  • the appropriate rate of capitalization for earnings attributable to goodwill
  • the earnings attributable to a return on assets
  • the appropriate rate of capitalization for earnings attributable to net tangible assets
  • the earnings in excess of those attributable to a return on assets

As you can imagine, either process is highly technical and complex. California courts often prefer the excess earnings approach because it can deliver a more comprehensive and precise amount. At the same time, it is also a much more complicated valuation calculation. To ensure that your high net-worth assets are valued properly, it is important to retain an Agoura Hills attorney who has a thorough understanding of these methods in divorce cases.

After the value of your assets has been determined, the court will divide the property. When it comes to things like a business, real estate, and other large assets, once the value is known, one spouse may have the option to buy out the other spouse’s share.

Contact an Agoura Hills High Net-Worth Divorce Attorney Today

When there a divorce involves high net-worth, the stakes are high. Much of the process will involve valuing tangible and intangible assets. It can be a long process, but a necessary one. Having a skilled Agoura Hills high net-worth divorce lawyer guide you through the process can benefit you in many ways. Contact Certified Family Law Specialist to learn more about his approach to family law and how he can help you with your high-asset divorce.

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Hoffer Family Law Firm

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WHAT COVID19 MEANS FOR ALL OF US AND FOR YOUR CASE

As you know, we are now living in uncertain times.  Our society has shifted in ways that were completely unexpected 3-6 months ago.   As a result, our priorities and actions need to shift as well.  Remember, we cannot control the wind, but we can always adjust our sails.   The Courts here in Southern California are closed for the foreseeable future.  The Los Angeles County courts are taking filings and are hearing emergency matters.  The Ventura County Courts are hearing emergency matters but are not taking filings at all.   Currently, both court systems are scheduled to re-open in mid-May; however, given the current state of affairs, it is likely that the closures will be extended. 

So, how do we adjust our sails?   We set you up for success for when the Courts re-open, your case will be ready to go. 

1.  Video Consultations:  All you need is a phone, an iPad, or a computer with a webcam and a microphone and we can have a video consultation.    Please click here to schedule. 

2. For Divorce Cases:   For existing cases in Ventura County, we can prepare your disclosures, create a discovery plan and ready your case for when the court opens again.  For Los Angeles County, we can file your Petition and related documents, prepare your disclosures, create a discovery plan and ready your case for when the court opens again. 

My Advice to you! 

3. Be physically and emotionally healthy!   There is a lot of humor circulating about how people are gaining weight and getting drunk during this period.   Don’t give in to that.  This is the time to take stock and improve on those things you always wanted.  It means reading that book you wanted to read.  It means taking that online course you always meant to take.  It means gaining that skill that you didn’t have time for.   It also means not letting your divorce case sit unattended.  There is always work to be done.  Let us handle it for you. Take this period of time to be proactive! 

  Thanks for taking the time to drop by. 

Jeffrey L. Hoffer

Certified Family Law Specialist – located in Agoura Hills, CA.