Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada, LLP
Menlo Park
San Ramon

Approach your divorce with negotiations in mind

During a high-asset divorce, there are many assets at risk. If you're a wealthy couple, then you likely know that the divorce could impact you both negatively. California equal distribution laws make it so that you are meant to divide your assets 50-50. If that's not something either of you wants to do, then it's time to negotiate.

Most people would agree that getting half of everything is fair in some sense. However, if you have a business and run it from home, purchased all the major assets during the marriage and supported your spouse, giving up half may seem like it's completely unfair.

How can you get the most out of your marriage in a community property state?

The first thing to do is to sit down with your spouse and talk about it. Some people would agree that they're not entitled to as much as the state would allow them to receive. Despite the media portraying high-asset divorces as divorces with conflict, most couples are able to come to a resolution that is fair. For instance, you might be able to offer your spouse a place to live, retirement or stocks and a fair amount of money to live on and invest. Even if it's not 50 percent of everything you've earned during your marriage, they may find it's fair and agree.

At worst, a community property state's judge will rule that assets have to be divided equally, but it's worth attempting to negotiate in mediation first. You may be surprised at how much more you can receive if you work things out with your spouse first.

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