San Diego Prenuptial: Some Issues To Consider: 2012

For high asset divorce cases in San Diego, the best time to protect your assets from divorce is before you are married. Many people are familiar with the concept of prenuptial agreements. However, there are strict rules that may affect the enforce ability of a California prenuptial agreement, and the advice of a knowledgeable attorney is essential to truly protect yourself as this is a complicated area of the law.

If you have a prenuptial agreement and are contemplating divorce, one of the first things you need to do is to have that agreement reviewed by an experience family lawyer to determine whether or not it is enforceable. Even an executed prenuptial agreement may have some of its terms set aside by the Family Law Courts. One common issue of this type is spousal support. If the court determines that spousal support is needed or the formalities not complied with, it can set aside the written agreement to the contrary.

There are two types of assets in divorce cases: separate and community. As a general rule, separate assets of the parties were obtained prior to the marriage or after the separation. Community assets were obtained during the marriage. Quasi-community assets were obtained during the marriage, but are located outside California.

Community assets are usually distributed equally with exceptions for omitted assets and breach of fiduciary duty and some other limited exceptions. It’s important to understand that separate assets can become community assets in certain circumstances. If you already have a high amount of separate assets, you don’t want to make the mistake of adding to community property assets that could remain separate but are not due to commingling. Your lawyer can advise you how to avoid this common mistake.

Especially in today’s volatile market place, it may be vital to make sure that values are accurate. Recent appraisals of real estate investments can make a significant difference in the bottom line.

Another issue in high asset divorce cases is financial wrongdoing. If your spouse is a spendthrift with unreasonable personal debt and out-of-control spending habits, documentation of those habits may improve your position in seeking a fair division of assets.

Many people are tempted to conceal assets prior to or immediately after filing for divorce. This is a big mistake that can lead to serious legal and financial consequences.

Marriages with high assets may also have high debt. The court usually divides debt equally as well. However, a court order assigning joint debts to a divorcing spouse will not prevent damage to your credit if your former spouse fails to pay. One strategy you may want to discuss with your lawyer is liquidating some of the marital assets to pay off marital debt, thus reducing this potential risk.

High asset divorce cases in San Diego have high stakes and complex issues. The earlier you seek the advice of an experienced, knowledgeable attorney, the better your outcome will be. For a free and confidential initial consultation, call our office at 858-312-8500 or contact our office online.