Orange County High Asset Divorce Lawyer

Divorce is a stressful process for any couple, and no two cases are the same. However, when one or both spouses have a high-paying profession or own multiple significant properties, property division, and spousal support can become more complicated to navigate than in the average divorce. An Orange County high asset divorce lawyer is ready to help you through the divorce process every step of the way, no matter how complex your case may seem.

Attention To Detail In High Asset Family Law Cases

The Goldberg Legal Group located in Irvine, California, has more than a decade of experience providing quality family law representation to high-income/high net worth individuals who tend to be involved in more complex divorces. Our services are available to clients throughout Orange County and Southern California.

We believe that our attention to detail is a critical skill for a family law attorney in Orange County. From the most straightforward divorce cases to the most challenging high-asset divorce cases, we always invest the time necessary to get to know the person and the situation.

We understand that this is a stressful time in your life. There are many decisions to be made and many factors at play. We believe that our attention to detail provides us a better understanding of the case and allows a greater opportunity for achieving your goals.

What Is a High Asset or High-Income Divorce?

A high asset or high income divorce is considered to be a complex type of divorce, as there is a large amount of property and assets shared between the spouses and/or a significant gap in the spouses’ annual income. These are some assets and other items commonly shared by the couple, known as community property:

  • Earned wages
  • Motor vehicles
  • Houses, buildings, other real estate, etc.
  • Mortgages, loans, debt, and other financial liabilities
  • Furniture, art, jewelry, other personal property
  • Owned businesses and business investments

These complex divorces necessitate careful consideration and handling by the spouses’ divorce attorneys. They may take much longer than other divorces, as valuing and dividing property may take much longer. They may also require the help of other professionals, such as financial specialists, who can effectively determine the value of certain assets or businesses.

Who Requires a High Asset Divorce in California?

In California, high income and high net worth divorces are typically seen between spouses who have lucrative careers, such as medical doctors, CEOs and CFOs, business owners, and investors. High-asset divorces can also occur when only one person has a high yearly income. In other cases, spouses may have average incomes but a large amount of assets or a high net worth.

Divorces that involve high-income spouses or a high net worth not only require extra care but also commonly lead to contentious proceedings due to spouses disagreeing. In California, all assets obtained over the course of a marriage equally belong to both spouses, including their partner’s income (if the income doesn’t come from a separate property asset). Inheritance and gifts given to one spouse during the marriage are considered separate property, however.

Community property laws can cause spouses to argue about which properties are separate, meaning owned individually, or community property that’s subject to equal division. In some cases, spouses will also hide assets from one another to avoid the division of that property, which can further complicate and lengthen the divorce process.

Spousal Support

Spousal support may be awarded to one spouse so that they can experience a living standard similar to that they enjoyed during the marriage. This is another aspect of divorce that can cause contentious disputes, particularly for high asset couples, for whom payments may be particularly high.

Child Custody Matters in a High Asset Divorce

While determining the value of a couple’s community property and dividing their assets can be difficult, it can also be complex to handle child custody disputes within high asset divorces. Custody is already among the most aggressively contested aspects of divorce, regardless of the net worth involved.

With large amounts of property or high incomes, one parent may feel entitled to more authority or time within a custody agreement. At times, one spouse may be worried that their partner will take advantage of the situation and create an unbalanced or unfair child custody arrangement.

During divorce proceedings, it can be crucial to have a competent and experienced family lawyer by your side who understands high asset divorces as well as child custody battles.


Q: How Much Does It Cost to Get a Divorce in Orange County?

A: The cost of getting a divorce in Orange County will depend on the type of divorce. If the spouses had a relatively simple marriage, meaning it lasted less than five years and no children are involved, they may file for a summary dissolution, which is less expensive. Uncontested divorces tend to cost less than contested or complex (high-asset) divorces. When there are more contested issues to negotiate, legal fees increase.

Q: What Is a Retainer Fee for a Divorce Lawyer in California?

A: A retainer fee for a divorce lawyer in California is an upfront payment made to an attorney to retain their services. It effectively acts as a downpayment. A client pays a retainer fee before the divorce lawyer begins working on the case as a form of reassurance. Typically, clients deduct hourly fees from a retainer.

Q: Who Pays for a Divorce Attorney’s Legal Fees in California?

A: For the majority of divorce cases in California, the spouse who hired their attorney is the one to pay their legal fees. For some cases, the judge may order one spouse to pay the other’s lawyers’ fees if there is a significant gap between the spouses’ incomes or another qualifying circumstance.

Q: What If I Can’t Afford a Lawyer for My High-Asset Divorce?

A: There are options for spouses who can’t afford legal representation for their divorce so that no parties are left at a disadvantage during the proceedings. In some high asset divorces, the lower-earning spouse might find it more difficult to pay legal fees.

Family courts can order the higher-earning spouse to pay their partner’s legal fees, especially if there’s evidence of domestic violence or the intentional hiding of income/assets. It’s also possible for funds from the spouses’ community property to be used in order to afford an attorney.

Q: How Long Does a High Asset Divorce Take in CA?

A: How long a high asset divorce may take can differ depending on the case. In divorces in which either spouse has a high income, a business, a high net worth, or a large number of properties, it will take time to properly determine the properties’ value and fairly distribute it between the spouses.

This legal process also often requires hiring financial professionals to review the case. A high asset divorce may take a long time to complete, but if contested, the process can be expected to take even longer.

Contact An Orange County High Asset Divorce Attorney Today

When you choose us as your High Asset Divorce Attorney, your case will be handled personally by an Irvine family law attorney who has spent more than a decade handling cases like yours — a lawyer who has worked for some of the top family law firms in the OC. We have the experience and the knowledge to succeed, whether through negotiation, mediation or trial.

Call 844-326-4561 or send an email to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about how we can guide you through any family law matter you may face. We take pride in our accessibility and our willingness to make ourselves available to the people we serve.

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