Orange County Complex Divorce Lawyer

As a general rule, more assets and shared properties between two spouses means more complicated challenges within a divorce case. In these cases of divorce between individuals who share contractual agreements, it is critical to choose an Orange County complex divorce lawyer. An attorney with the resources to build a case designed to protect your share of the assets can easily navigate the statutes and laws surrounding complex divorces.

Not only are there more possessions to dispute over and divide up but there are also complexities when sorting between separate (individual) and marital (community/shared) property. Understanding and determining the value of properties can also be a lengthy process. These high-asset divorces and those with a large gap in income between the spouses are considered complex divorces.

Divorce For Professionals And Business Owners

High-asset divorce cases in California tend to involve marriages between one or more professionals such as doctors, dentists, CEOs/CFOs, as well as business owners and those invested in a business. Primary questions at the heart of high-asset divorce cases are often: “How much is the business worth, including goodwill?” or “What exactly is the cash flow of the professional or the business?”

The Goldberg Legal Group has more than a decade of legal experience and a network of resources to draw from, including business valuation experts and forensic/financial accountants, that can be utilized to protect these professional practices and businesses.

Best Orange County Complex Divorce Lawyer

An Aggressive Approach for High-Asset Divorces

High-asset divorce cases in Orange County may often require a more aggressive approach in court due to the high likelihood one party attempted to conceal assets from their spouse. A quality lawyer can be prepared to represent you and take these matters to trial in order to protect your business or other assets. Extensive discovery and litigation to reveal necessary and relevant information may be needed to prevent the unlawful disadvantages resulting from hidden holdings, expenses, or debts.

Disputes over the division of such assets — whether it is real estate, art, antique collections, or business possessions — tend to be more frequently contested as well. When choosing an attorney, it is critical to select one who also understands what to do when attempts to negotiate or mediate may fail.

The Goldberg Legal Group Can Assist With Community Property Division

California is one of the states that recognizes “community property,” or marital property/assets. This means that once a marriage is processed, any property or funds acquired thereafter are shared, belonging equally to both spouses. Anything obtained during the marriage is community property and is subject to division in a divorce.

Community property laws also state that one spouse owns half of the other’s regular income interest if the income does not come from a separate property. Separate property is property or other assets that are individually yours and unrelated to your spouse; they must be in your sole possession prior to the marriage. Other examples of community property are:

  • Houses
  • Other buildings or properties
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Earned wages
  • Mortgages
  • Debt

During divorce proceedings, community property is divided between the spouses, depending on its classification, and it’s possible to argue in court that some assets are not shared. Dividing community property can be complicated, as it’s specific to the exact assets owned during the marriage. A lawyer who is well-versed in the laws and considerations surrounding complex divorce or community property can ensure that you don’t lose valuable property or are otherwise taken advantage of.

Business Divisions During a Divorce in California

When one or both spouses have a business (together or not) or are otherwise invested in a business venture, the divorce of these spouses is considered complex or high-asset. This can include people who own a corporation, a business partnership, an LLC, or a family-owned business. It also includes those who are self-employed.

A major deciding factor when dividing these assets between spouses is discovering or quantifying the value of these enterprises and properties. This is done through a process called valuation. That’s why, with the help of your attorney, certain experts in accounting and finance are brought in to evaluate the relevant assets and estimate their monetary value.

Additionally, if one or more businesses are to continue operating after the divorce is finalized, you will likely want the legal guidance of a complex divorce lawyer. They can help you in these specific circumstances and give your business its greatest chance of continued success. This will usually require achieving an amicable and sufficient property settlement before the business can continue smoothly.

Child Custody and Support in a High-Asset Divorce

Complex divorce attorneys understand the numerous statutes under family law, so they can help with setting and calculating child support for high-income families. Like with any divorce, certain complications may arise when taking the steps to determine child custody, especially if the children aren’t young or the parents can’t approach shared custody in a civil way. Making decisions that are in the interest of the child is of the utmost importance.

Parenting time, or visitation, will be one crucial element when crafting a parenting plan during child custody negotiations. Discussions about where the child or children will primarily live and when they will see each parent are among some of the areas that the spouses and/or their attorney(s) can offer proposals for.

Complex divorces, which are those with a large income gap or significant assets between spouses, can be especially troubling when making choices surrounding children. To ensure that one spouse doesn’t get an unfair advantage, get in touch with a complex divorce lawyer who’s familiar with family law and high-income households.


Q: How Much Does It Cost to File for Divorce in Orange County?

A: It depends on the divorce type and the attorney’s specific hourly rate. The initial petition (for dissolution) fee is $435-450, either filed jointly or by one spouse. If there are no disputes, the uncontested divorce results in less court time and lower costs, ranging from $1,500 to $2,500. A contested divorce ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, depending on the time spent in litigation and how long it takes to settle disagreements about child custody, spousal/child support, or division of assets.

Q: How Long Can a Spouse Drag Out a Divorce in California?

A: Many things could delay a divorce court settlement or mediation. Spouses may argue for weeks or months, even years, depending on what areas of the divorce they strongly disagree on. Some examples include:

  • Child custody
  • Property division for one or more properties
  • Hidden assets
  • Significant income differences
  • If one or both parties cannot easily communicate or remain civil

Q: How Much Are Attorney Fees for Divorce in California?

A: This can depend on many factors, including how many aspects of the divorce your attorney is needed to help settle. The average hourly rate of a divorce lawyer is $400 to $500+. Depending on how long the mediation process or litigation in court lasts, prices can range from $5,000 to $15,000. Other influencing factors include whether spouses need legal counsel to help determine child custody, spousal/child support, and the division of assets.

Q: What if I Can’t Afford a Divorce Lawyer in California?

A: The family court can order attorney fees for divorce cases. The court can also order the payment of fees from one party to the other, including when one party intentionally hid income or assets (sanctions to be ordered along with fees) or is a perpetrator of domestic violence.

Funds from community/shared property within the marriage and third-party payers (such as family and/or friends) are also allowed to help pay lawyer expenses. Legal fees can be paid before or after the divorce begins.

Get a Free Initial Consultation When Preparing for Divorce

If you’re not sure whether your divorce may be high-asset or otherwise complex, don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer with any questions you may have. Once you tell us the details of your situation, our firm can provide estimated costs or legal options to achieve a more streamlined and less stressful divorce. Schedule a free initial consultation with The Goldberg Legal Group today.

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