When your marriage ends you and your spouse will face a number of significant decisions regarding how to separate your lives. Some will be easy to conclude and others, like figuring out how to divide shared finances, may be trickier. This is particularly true in a situation where one spouse does not work or there is a large wage gap between what you and your partner earn.
In both scenarios, your standard of living has been reliant on your spouse’s income. You can be sure that life after marriage will change, and it’s important to know your rights. Particularly in community property states, such as California, there are laws in place that protect spouses who are divorcing the breadwinner from ending up with nothing. However, there are many factors to be considered and having a strategic plan is key.
Whether you have known for some time that a divorce was imminent or were blindsided, planning ahead to ensure fair treatment is a good way to regain a sense of control. Enlisting the help of a divorce attorney who can put together an appropriate team to represent your interests alone is extremely important. Experts can include a financial advisor, a forensic accountant, or a real estate appraiser. The right team can ensure nothing gets overlooked and that you feel comfortable with whatever settlement is reached.
It’s More Than Just Divorce Paperwork
The longer you have been married, the better the chance that the dissolution process will not be as simple as filing the necessary divorce paperwork with the court. Particularly in the case of high-net-worth individuals, the division of assets generally requires the help of experts and additional time to negotiate an agreement that satisfies both you and your spouse.
There are usually additional issues to address such as who will retain ownership of the property of your family home or any other dwellings that you co-own or how custody/visitation of your kids will be handled. Although you might have sacrificed your career in order to raise the kids in California, the division assets and wealth acquired during marriage is split 50/50. With that said there are many ways to look at how to divide assets, handle custody and deal with support. An experienced attorney can help negotiate what will work in your best interest.
When one or both spouses have interests in a business it adds a layer of complexity. A lawyer with a business litigation background, in addition to a family law background, such as the Orange County divorce attorneys at Buncher Family Law adds a depth of expertise to your strategic plan.
Divorcing the breadwinner can be a daunting concept. Many individuals are suddenly thrust into the position of navigating a whole new financial world in order to support yourself and your children on your own. An important part of a lawyer’s responsibility is to negotiate terms in the divorce settlement that will provide the financial security you require to get back on your feet. If there are major assets involved, working with a high net worth divorce attorney is beneficial to navigate the divorce process.