High Asset Divorce Attorneys Explain Complex Property Division in California

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Complex property division involves splitting high-value assets (such as this office building) during a divorce

Dividing marital property is one of the most difficult steps during the divorce process. The importance of fair property division during divorce for couples with significant assets is second only to the issues of child custody and support. However, California is a community property state, which means assets are to be divided equally between each party upon divorce. This often causes asset distribution to be highly complicated.

This aspect of California family law can be very complicated. Therefore it is essential that you speak with an experienced California high asset divorce lawyer.

The attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have successfully helped thousands of clients with complex property division in their divorce cases for over 30 years. We can help you, too.  Visit our testimonials page to see what some of our clients have to say about us.

This longstanding reputation has helped us achieve the highest of merits, including a 5 out of 5 AV rating on Lawyers.com, a 10 out of 10 rating on AVVO.com, and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

Contact our high asset divorce attorneys today at (888) 749-7428 for professional legal advice about your case.

California Community Property

Since California is a community property state, there is a community presumption where all assets acquired during the marriage are presumptively community property. Assets that are considered separate property include:

  • Property owned by either party before the marriage
  • Property acquired during marriage by gift, will, or devise, or with expenditure of separate funds and
  • Rents, issue, and profits derived from separate property

In order to determine the character of any asset, the courts will trace back to the source of funds used to acquire the asset. A mere change in form of an asset does not change its characterization. Upon divorce, all community assets and liabilities must be divided equally. Having a knowledgeable family law attorney is crucial in successfully determining what property is rightfully your separate property and what belongs in the community for equal division.

What is Complex Property Division?

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Stocks may also me considered community property

Although dividing martial property in California can be complex in itself, “complex property division” is more than just a description regarding the difficulty of asset division in divorce. Complex property division involves high-value marital estates and may include specific assets such as:

  • Investment portfolios
  • Retirement accounts including 401ks and IRAs
  • Real estate property including marital homes, second homes, vacation property, commercial property, and investment properties
  • Stock options related employment positions, business interests
  • Businesses including S corporation, C corporations and LLCs
  • Professional practices including physician PLLCs, dental offices, law firms, veterinary clinics and accounting firms
  • Unique investments and other assets such as stocks, bonds, collections, artwork, jewelry, cars and more

Working with Experts and Professionals

Forensic Accountant
Complex property division experts

Determining the value and nature of high-value assets can be difficult. An experienced family law attorney will be able to successfully raise specific strategies and resources to help you acquire what is rightfully yours. An experienced family law attorney that has successfully handled complex property division will work closely with experts and professionals and examine the intricacies of such assets and determine the proper value to maximize your interest in the property.

Some experts that a knowledgeable family law expert will work with may include:

  • Business valuation experts
  • Appraisers
  • Forensic accountants
  • Tax specialists

Business Valuation Experts

A very common high-value asset is a professional business, such as a medical or legal practice or a partnership. An experienced family law attorney will work closely with a business valuation expert to determine the value of the business interest and whether the interest belongs as separate property or in the community.


Typically, complex property division involves various types of real property such as homes, vacation property, and commercial property as investment property or for a business. Additionally, high-value personal property may also be involved in complex property division such as antiques and jewelry. An experienced family law attorney will work closely with appraisers to determine the current market value of any real and personal property.

Forensic Accountants

Forensic accountants analyze assets and sift through complex financial documents to develop an accurate assessment of the relevant financial situation as to the marital property. In complex property division, a skilled family law attorney will work with forensic accountants to evaluate when money is inherited by the family, where assets are stored, and how assets were being distributed. A forensic accountant can help determine if there are hidden finances, which can be used by a knowledgeable family law attorney to show a spouse is concealing assets.

Tax Specialists

Taxes affect nearly every financial transaction, which raises some issues in complex property division. By working with tax specialists, a skilled family law attorney will be able to understand the tax consequences of divorce and analyze measures to take in order to minimize effects of taxation of the value of high-value assets.

Complex Property Division Attorneys

Having an experienced complex property division attorney during the divorce process is crucial in not only determining the most accurate value of your possessions and the correct classification of your assets, but also in negotiating a favorable property division settlement. By working with skilled experts who can accurately determine the value of high-value assets, a skilled attorney will be able to work diligently to help you obtain the best possible property distribution.

Call the Family Law Attorneys Wallin & Klarich Today

Going through a divorce can be both physically and emotionally taxing. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce and high-value assets are involved, you need to speak to an experienced family law attorney immediately. At Wallin & Klarich, we have been successfully negotiating high-asset divorce settlements for over 30 years. Our attorneys have the skill and experience necessary to help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.

Call us today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will get through this together.

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