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Business Assets in a Divorce .
  • High net worth divorce

Divorce and High Net Worth

If you have a significant amount of assets and property, then you might have more to lose in a divorce, especially when it comes to dividing up the property and paying things like alimony and child support. If you are worried about the outcome of your divorce and fate of your financial assets, then taking up proper legal protection to ensure your assets are protected is the best option. This is especially necessary due to the extensive amount of research, investigation, and documentation, which makes these types of divorce cases a lot more complicated than other divorce cases.

The individual with a high net worth should definitely consider a few things such as, organizing and identifying the estate’s financial information and seeking the right qualified attorney and forensic accountant to review it. Some things to identify include non-marital assets acquired before the marriage, inherited assets and anything received as a gift to be considered as separate from the marital estate. Non-marital assets, for example, can be money or property obtained before marriage. If you received a gift or inherited property or a large amount of money, that is not considered shared assets between you and your soon to be ex-spouse. After listing the things that are not marital assets you must then identify the marital assets and liabilities that constitute the marital estate that will form the basis for all future legal proceedings concerning the distribution of the marital estate.

Depending on the spousal relationship during the early stages of the divorce, you may need to hire a private investigator to ensure your spouse is not hiding any assets from you. Lastly, partnering with your attorney and forensics accountant to gather the relevant information and create a strategy.

Contact Brett Thorsteinson divorce lawyer to help you protect your net worth in a divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

Four types of alimony

Alimony is payment made by one ex-spouse to another to help support them during and after divorce proceedings. It is usually ordered when the judge finds that the divorce caused economic consequences for one ex-spouse. Below are the four types of alimony along with the factors in alimony/spousal support.

Four types of Alimony

Temporary – This is also known, as “alimony pendente lite” is an ongoing payment that is made when a couple is separated or in divorce proceedings, but not yet divorced. It can include payment for divorce costs, daily expenses, and continues until the court determines permanent alimony.

Permanent – The amount awarded after the conclusion of divorce proceedings, paid on a regular, recurring basis. Permanent alimony is usually due indefinitely, but is subject to change under certain circumstances such as remarriage or cohabitation.

Rehabilitative – In situations in which one ex-spouse is not self-sufficient, the judge may order payment of rehabilitative alimony to provide financial support while searching for a job or while attempting to expand employment skills. This is typically ordered for a fixed period of time.

Reimbursement– This type of alimony was intended to balance the scales on any support provided for higher education or work training by one ex-spouse. It requires a regular payment to reimburse the sponsoring ex-spouse the tuition costs paid, or a portion of those costs.

Lump-sum – This is also known, as “alimony in gross.” If one ex-spouse does not want any property or items of value from the marriage, the judge may order a one-time lump-sum payment in replacement of the property.

How the court awards

Spousal support awards are generally based upon the needs and abilities of each party, and when deciding, judges look at the following factors:
• The duration of the marriage
• Health and physical condition
• The earning capacity of the parties
• Present income of the parties
• The extent to which the supported party contributed to the attainment of an education, training, a career position, or a license by the supporting party;
• The ability of the supporting party to pay spousal support
• The needs of each party based on the standard of living established during the marriage
• The jurisdiction of the marriage

If you have specific questions about alimony and divorce contact Brett Thorsteinson, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney. Offices in Huntington Beach and Long Beach with free consultations.

  • Divorce and Debt

Divorce and Debt

In many divorces there is debt that needs to be considered. The type can vary but typically includes mortgages, student loans, credit cards, and vehicles. During divorce proceedings, couples will need to divide assets and debt.

The general rule is that if your debt was incurred at any time during the marriage, it will be divided between both spouses. For example, if you had opened a joint credit card, each of you will be responsible for the balance regardless of who did the spending.

Instead of dividing each debt in half, the court may assign one debt to one spouse and another debt to the other spouse. This means that if you and your spouse had multiple credit cards, you may be asked to pay off one of the cards and your spouse may be asked to pay off other cards, keeping the total debt for each of you equal. Keep in mind that no matter which spouse is responsible for paying the debt, all jointly held account debt will remain on your credit report.

Credit Reports and Divorce

It is important to check credit reports after a divorce to make sure that they do not include any debts that have been paid off or that are attributed to the opposite party. However, if a joint debt was incurred during the marriage both names may still appear on the report.

Be sure to consult your divorce and family law attorney for recommendations on how to handle your divorce and debt. There are strategies that can be put in place before the divorce proceedings that can make debt easier to manage after your divorce is final.

Thorsteinson Law Group is your trusted divorce and family law attorney. With offices in Long Beach and Huntington Beach, we serve clients throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Contact us today, we are here to help.

Huntington Beach Office

17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647

Phone: (714) 375-6619
Fax: (714) 375-6621

Driving Directions:
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Long Beach Office

3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 200
Long Beach, Ca. 90806

Phone: (562) 430-7676
Fax: (714) 375-6621

Driving Directions:
Google Map (By appointment only)

  • Forensic accountant in a divorce

Benefits of a Forensic Accountant in a Divorce

Using a forensic accountant can assist the filing spouse in revealing essential information during the preparation stage of the divorce. The accountant can also help provide vital divorce documentation once the divorce process starts. Some forensic accounting services include calculating how much money is available for alimony payments and child support, trace community assets and liabilities, and uncover hidden assets and income streams.

When to use a forensic accountant

Typically forensic accountants are brought on to the divorce team which includes a divorce attorney and depending on the case, a private investigator.

In a collaborative divorce, the accountant acts as a “neutral advisor” who provides the divorcing couple with unbiased financial advice. However, a forensic accountant can benefit the spouses regardless of the type of divorce.

Some benefits include

• Identify and Clarify any inconsistencies between financial information and documentation to determine whether or not the other spouse is hiding assets
• Validate financial information with non-financial information.
• Calculate the cash flow, which may be used in calculating support payments
• Assist your attorney in preparing document requests of the other party, preparation of subpoenas, contacts with computer forensics and other professionals, and deposition or trial questions to be asked of the other party’s forensic accountant.
• Testify and provide input in court or at depositions and during the settlement process.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group , your trusted divorce lawyer to help you with your California divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

  • Declarations of Disclosure

Declarations of Disclosure Required in Divorce

The Declarations of Disclosure is required in divorce before a judgment of dissolution may be entered. The court requires that a “Declarations of Disclosure” be completed in all California divorces. Preliminary declarations of disclosure are exchanged after a spouse is served with the summons and petition at the start of the case. Final Declarations of Disclosure are usually required to be exchanged 45 days before the first trial date or at the time that a settlement agreement is filed with the court.

The Declarations of Disclosure should include completion of the following:

• Schedule of Assets and Debts where you list all of your known community and separate assets or debts
• Income and expense declaration which covers financial information

These two are the most time-consuming aspects of the disclosure declarations, and it is something you should begin working on promptly, as you will be required to gather various deeds, bank statements, credit card statements, etc. It is also very important for these forms to be filled out accurately and to give a lot of thought to the information you put down, as this information may be used in the future to cross-examine you in court and to call into question the expenses and/or your income.

Don’t be overwhelmed

You may feel overwhelmed by the amount of information needed to be provided in these documents which is why you should rely on your divorce lawyer to help. Understand that it is up to you to provide all the necessary documents and to provide accurate information to your attorney so that they can properly prepare these forms.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group today for your free consultation. We fight to protect your rights and listen to your needs so that we can build a strong case for you.

Huntington Beach Divorce Lawyer Thorsteinson Law Group

17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
Huntington Beach, Ca. 92647

Phone: (714) 375-6619

  • disclosure during divorce

First steps when starting divorce

When starting a divorce, there will be forms and documents you will need to complete and sign. One of those forms is called a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (PDD). The PDD is used to provide full and accurate disclosure of all assets and liabilities in in the marriage. It’s called preliminary because it is a starting point. It is a way to get all parties working towards providing accurate information so the divorce process can go as smoothly as possible.

The Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure is completed in the early stages of the divorce process. All assets and liabilities are disclosed regardless of the characterization as community or separate, along with a disclosure of all income and expenses of each party.

The Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure must meet the following guidelines:
• There must be a full disclosure
• It must be accurate
• It includes all assets
• It includes all liabilities
• It applies to assets or liabilities one has or may have
• The disclosure must be made early on in the proceedings, although there is no specific time rule
• It doesn’t matter whether you think the asset or debt is a separate property item, you still must disclose
• You must also fully and accurately disclose all income and expenses

It is important to seek counsel from an experienced family and divorce lawyer to avoid any mistakes in the disclosure forms. These disclosure forms are not simply another document that needs to be prepared in order to complete your divorce, but rather they are the proof that you have complied with important spousal trustee duties after your physical separation.

If you have specific questions or need help with starting your divorce or another family law matter, contact Brett Thorsteinson, your trusted and experienced divorce and family law attorney. Brett will help you resolve your family law issues quickly and efficiently. Handling all family law matters including child custody, divorce, spousal support, and more.

  • divorcing trust fund beneficiary

Divorcing a Trust Fund Beneficiary

When considering divorce that involves a trust fund beneficiary it is important to have an understanding of how trust law works. In trust law, the person entitled to the benefit of the trust arrangement is considered the beneficiary.

To prepare when divorcing a trust fund beneficiary, keep in mind the following:

• Assets placed in a trust before marriage are usually treated as separate property.
• The trust protects the estates because once it was established; the trust then legally owns the property, nether the owner, nor the filing spouse.
• If an estate planning attorney is involved, their job will be to protect the trust beneficiary because it is their job to protect the wealth of the beneficiary
• Support and discretionary trusts can be used to protect the beneficiary and stop disbursements during a divorce
• If the trust beneficiary has no power to access or distribute the trust funds, they can be left penniless
• A family court judge may consider regular trust disbursements as income for purposes of calculating child and spousal support
• The spouse and the estate planning attorneys may be able and willing to negotiate a prenuptial, postnuptial or divorce agreement

There can be a fair amount of money involved when divorcing a trust fund beneficiary, and in many cases the trust beneficiary will spare no expense to protect their funds. In California, the family court’s authority to order the payout of unrestricted, support and spendthrift trust funds in divorce is limited. Due to the nature of the laws governing the marriage and divorcing of a trust beneficiary being so complicated, it’s important to speak with an experienced family law attorney to understand such a case.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to help you with your divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

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  • high net worth divorce

What Not To Do in a High Net Worth Divorce

In a high net worth divorce, the list of assets is so large that divorcing couples find they agree on dividing some things, but not on others, and neither wants to budge. Stress is high when large amounts of money, property, businesses, assets and other items are at stake. The divorcing party can be very emotional and often feels betrayed, angry, aggrieved, disappointed and might let these emotions influence their decisions.

These factors create a recipe for mistakes on both sides of the divorce, which have long-term effects on both spouses and/or their children. Here are a few things to avoid during a high net worth divorce:

• Guilt: When a spouse wants a divorce, they are bound to feel guilt for the other, despite justification. The spouse feeling guilt tends to give more money than hey should. When it comes to financial assets, decisions should be made similar to dissolution of a business rather than with emotions.

• Agreeing to anything to be out of the divorce: A spouse filing due to domestic/physical violence, or being in love with someone else is willing to do anything to be away from their current spouse. It is important to have a thorough analysis because this can lead to damaging effects on you financially.

• Failing to account for, or hiding assets: It is common to want to hide or transfer assets in a high net worth divorce. Transferring valuable assets to another person, such as, a business partner, will be seen as fraudulent and you will lose credibility in court. It is important to take the research process seriously for the law mandates the financial documents you find.

• Listening to non-professionals: During difficult life changing experiences, we often seek council from the people closest to us. While that might be good for your emotions, it may not be the best legal and financial advise you can get. Everyone’s experience is different and in a high net worth divorce, protecting your financial assets is key. Seeking professional guidance in the specific areas or getting a team together is a step in the right direction. Keep in mind that laws change and every judge is different.

These are only a few mistakes made in high net worth divorces, most all of which can be prevented when you hire a good divorce attorney.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to help you protect your net worth in a divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

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  • prenuptial postnuptial agreement process

Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreement Process

Sometimes a person contemplating marriage needs a prenuptial agreement in order to protect the assets and income they are bringing into the marriage. Similarly, some people find that after they are married to one another, they wish to enter into an enforceable written contract concerning property rights and rights to future spousal support, should their marriage end. A prenuptial agreement, also known as a premarital agreement, and for many, a “prenup” is a written contract created by two people before they are married. A postnuptial agreement is created after two people are married. Regardless of the timing, the agreement basically lists all of the assets, property, debts, etc. each person owns and specifies what each person’s property rights will be after the marriage, or in case of divorce. The agreement will take into effect once the couple marries, or for postnuptial agreements, as soon as both parties sign.

The process of creating such an agreement with your soon to be spouse/ already spouse is not one to be taking lightly. For starters, you will need to work with your attorney to properly document and disclose all of your property and financial information. This would include a complete accounting of your assets, liabilities, and overall income. It is also essential to ensure that the agreement was properly signed, dated, and recognized within the jurisdiction of where you reside. You should examine whether you abide, or will abide by all of the obligations that were spelled out in the pre/postnuptial agreement. If the other party had accepted any benefits from you after those obligations were met, then that can be considered a permission of the agreement and it can become difficult to fight the document in a court of law in the case of divorce.

Another key recommendation is to make sure that your attorney has kept all the communication that had been exchanged during the pre/postnuptial negotiation process. This includes documenting any discussions that you might have had prior to the agreement being drawn or even later conversations between you and your fiancé/spouse during the process. This information can all be considered evidence during the court proceedings and can often be extremely valuable to supporting your agreement in the case of legal separation, or divorce.To ensure that the document will stand in a court of law, talk to a lawyer to go over the prenuptial and postnuptial process in further detail.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group to help you. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.

  • Huntington Beach Divorce

Using a Forensic Accountant in Divorce

Using a forensic accountant can assist the filing spouse in revealing essential information during the preparation stage of the divorce. The accountant can also help provide vital divorce documentation once the divorce process starts. Some forensic accounting services include calculating how much money is available for alimony payments and child support, trace community assets and liabilities, and uncover hidden assets and income streams.It is helpful and beneficial to gain assistance from this type of expert.

Typically forensic accountants are brought on to the divorce team which includes a divorce attorney and depending on the case, a private investigator. This team of experts can be extremely helpful in an non-collaborative or uncontested divorce. Even in a collaborative divorce, a forensic accountant can assist by acting as a “neutral advisor” who provides the divorcing couple with unbiased financial advice. However, a forensic accountant can benefit the spouses regardless of the type of divorce.

Some benefits include:
• Identify and clarify any inconsistencies between financial information and documentation to determine whether or not the other spouse is hiding assets
• Validate financial information with non-financial information.
• Calculate the cash flow, which may be used in calculating support payments
• Assist your attorney in preparing document requests of the other party, preparation of subpoenas, contacts with computer forensics and other professionals, and deposition or trial questions to be asked of the other party’s forensic accountant.
• Testify and provide input in court or at depositions and during the settlement process.

Having a forensic accountant paired with your family divorce lawyer would be an asset to your divorce process team. Non-expert advice always is comforting, but leave it to the experts to get you the best legal advice to help you in the long run.

Contact Thorsteinson Law Group , your trusted Huntington Beach divorce lawyer to help you with your California divorce. We provide complimentary consultations, and are dedicated to helping you through the divorce process.