When speaking with a divorce attorney, often it is the attorney who is asking the client questions. But it is important for your own peace of mind and bottom line to ask your attorney questions as well, both at the start of the divorce process and throughout.
This is particularly true in high asset divorce cases, such as where there are significant real estate holdings, investments, and/or business interests. Here are a few questions to get you started in your high-asset divorce case.
How Much Experience Do You Have Resolving High-Net-Worth Divorces?
Although there are statewide laws that apply to each divorce in California, what makes each divorce case different are the underlying facts and issues to be resolved. A high-net-worth divorce is often significantly more complex and challenging to resolve than a divorce where there are limited assets and/or income. Not every attorney has the experience your case might require to be resolved in an efficient way, such as when a case involves high net worth issues like restricted stock units, stock options, partnership and corporate income, royalties, and other intellectual property income streams, and/or multiple real properties.
By having a discussion with an attorney at the outset of your case regarding the types of income and asset issues in your divorce, you can ensure that your attorney has the experience necessary to help you work towards your goals while protecting your interests.
What Can I Do to Preserve My Assets in a High-Net-Worth Case?
Asset preservation is a key aspect not just of the final resolution of a divorce, but throughout the divorce process itself, even before the initial petition for divorce is filed. Believe it or not, some parties can wait months before discussing with their attorney the nature and extent of their assets, which can result in complications.
By going through your assets with your attorney as early as possible in the process, your attorney can work with you to take both immediate steps and long-term strategic actions to help you preserve those assets in the context of your pending divorce, while helping you move forward towards a fair and final resolution of your case more efficiently.
What is Your Game Plan for Resolving My Case?
It is important for your attorney to have a plan for getting you to a fair end of the divorce process. Such a plan no doubt needs to be flexible due to the unpredictable nature of divorce litigation and the challenging personality dynamics often involved. It is important for you and your attorney to be on the same page regarding the potential risks and rewards of a plan to help manage everyone’s expectations and to push you most efficiently towards your goals.
A proactive plan might involve issuing discovery on the other side to obtain necessary information, working with forensic accountants or other professionals to conduct reports on business valuations and/or property tracing, entering negotiations, or seeking relief from the court through interim orders or a final trial.
Do You Have a Network of Professionals to Assist?
Most people commonly think of a divorce lawyer as the singular person who manages and resolves a divorce case, but in a high asset case, it is common to bring in other professionals such as forensic accountants, appraisers, actuaries, and/or other financial analysts. Working with a forensic accountant, for example, is valuable when assessing income available for support or the marital standard of living, among other financial issues. When children are involved, it may be necessary to have a therapist or custody evaluator involved.
These professionals may be just as key to the successful resolution of your divorce as your attorney. It is worthwhile to ask your attorney whether such professionals may be needed to assist in or resolve the case.
What Can I Do to Help You Most Efficiently Resolve My Case?
To achieve a more successful resolution to your divorce case, your attorney will depend upon you to not only provide information and documents, but to be responsive and proactive in working towards the desired results. You and your attorney will be best equipped to get to the all-important finish line of the divorce, and to do so in a way that promotes better results, lower stress and delay, and limits fees.
Few clients think to ask the question, “What can I do to help make this process run more smoothly?” A skilled attorney will welcome that question from you and will almost certainly have positive suggestions for you that serve your interests.
Get Answers to Your Questions from a High Asset Westlake Village Family Law Attorney and Mediator
The Zonder Family Law Group in Westlake Village, California focuses on providing legal and mediation services to parties in high net worth / high asset divorces. If you would like to learn more about how our office can provide guidance on any California family law issues you are facing in Ventura County or Los Angeles County, contact the Zonder Family Law Group office today at (805) 777-7740 or (818) 877-0001, or schedule your strategy session using easy-to-use online form here.
Our attorneys are licensed in the State of California. We do not handle any matter outside of California. Testimonials or case results do not guarantee you will get the same or similar result. None of the information, testimonials, case results, or information is a guarantee, warranty, prediction, or assurance regarding the results that may be obtained in your case. Every case is dependent on its own facts. These materials have been prepared for general informational purposes only and are not legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.