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Property Division

I have worked with high asset cases in the past and seen spouses attempt to hide funds, income, and other assets. I recently had a case where the spouse hide over $200,000 of funds during the marriage and divorce. Through discovery, I was able to locate the funds and we had the evidence to prove our case at trial. My client was awarded 100% of the value of the hidden funds. The ability to locate evidence and present it properly is rare but extremely necessary in a high conflict divorce.

For many couples divorcing, understanding their respective rights is often very confusing. For example, if a home was purchased with separate property money, like an inheritance, and then maintained with community property, it is not treated the same as a straight community property asset. If you do not know your rights, it is likely that a person could lose a significant reimbursement claim, which could be a substantial amount of money. This claim can effect, support, retirement, and the rest of the division and if not done properly, the reimbursement claim can be inadvertently lost. This is one of hundreds of reasons why, couples need help dividing their property.



California is a community property state, which generally means that the assets and debts will be divided equally. There are reasons why property would not be divided equally, based on when it was purchased, the source of the funds and other factors. Values of property and debts at the time of separation and division are also a concern. In a sharply contested divorce, you must have an experienced family law attorney to guide you through the legal questions.



My goal is the ensure that you receive the property portion to which you are entitled. The assets built during the marriage are generally divided equally and my goal is to ensure that you receive the portion that is yours by rights. I will also ensure that your separate property interests are protected. One area my firm focuses on is considering the tax implications of the division and the best way to limit the impact on you and your future. In some cases, we can negotiate the property division issues at the same time as the alimony issues, with the resulting agreement fair and satisfactory for both parties. In other cases, it will be necessary to present your case in court through thoroughly documented evidence.



Examples of the kinds of property or indebtedness that can complicate the division of community property are the following:


  • Family business interests or equity positions in closely held corporations
  • Pension benefits, stock options, or certain investments that are not traded on recognized exchanges
  • Interest in a professional license or practice
  • Collectibles, such as antiques, art, classic cars, or memorabilia
  • Payments during marriage on one spouse‚Äôs premarital debt, such as student loans or tax liabilities

The division can become more complicated if there is a prenuptial agreement, or concern about the honestly of one of the parties and whether they are being truthful about their income or assets. I have hired financial experts in the past that have provided evidence of misconduct resulting in greater financial success for my client. Understanding how to use evidence and its impact is one of the main advantages of hiring Hilton Family Law.


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