San Diego Lawyers Skilled in Family Law Matters
The San Diego firm of Jenkins P.C. consists of family law attorneys who understand the seriousness of handling high-asset divorce, child custody, child support, and property division issues. We will work diligently to protect your rights and take the time to carefully address any concerns that you have. An open line of communication is at the core of the attorney-client relationship, and you can expect candor from us at every step of your case. Erik Jenkins, the founder of the firm, is a Certified Family Law Specialist who is knowledgeable in the nuances of this area and the strategies that can be used to protect your rights.
Dissolving a Marriage Involving Significant Assets
High-asset divorce typically refers to couples with substantial amounts of property or wealth who are ending a marriage. Complex property division issues may arise when two successful professionals choose to part ways midway through their careers. In these types of divorces, it is often critical to consult accountants and experts to determine the exact value of all the assets, and to ensure that neither person is hiding any property from the other spouse and the court.
California is a community property state, which means that most assets and debt acquired over the course of a marriage are considered marital property and are divided equally at the time of the divorce. Marital property may include real estate, personal property, investment accounts, pensions, retirement accounts, business properties, and more. This is distinct from separate property, which is acquired before the marriage or through devices such as inheritances or gifts that are specific to a certain individual. Upon divorce, it remains the exclusive property of the spouse to whom it belongs.
Often, both spouses have grown accustomed to a certain standard of living during a marriage. Once it is dissolved, spousal support may be required to assist the lesser-earning spouse with living expenses. This is designed to keep him or her at a level of lifestyle similar to what he or she had during the marriage, at least until that spouse marries again or no longer needs the assistance. A court will examine a number of factors when it comes to deciding the amount of child support that must be paid. It will look at the length of the marriage, the lesser earning spouse’s education and ability to earn, each spouse’s health, each spouse’s age, among other issues. When a final determination about spousal support is made, it can be paid in regular installments over time, or it can be issued as a lump sum.
As in other states, parents in California have a legal responsibility to financially support their children. When it comes to child support, a judge has considerable discretion in evaluating each parent’s situation. The court will typically consider factors such as each parent’s employment status, income, earning potential, health benefits, and pre-existing bond with the child. Once they reach a certain age, children also can express a preference for a certain arrangement that the judge can take into account, although that factor alone is not decisive. Child support determinations will also require an examination of the specific child’s needs, including any day care expenses and medical costs.
Consult an Experienced Divorce Attorney in San Diego
If you need diligent legal representation in a family law matter, you should consider seeking the guidance of the experienced divorce lawyers at Jenkins P.C. We proudly represent clients throughout the San Diego area, including in Encinitas, Olivenhain, Cardiff, Carlsbad, and Solana Beach. We understand how important it is to handle each case with sensitivity and professionalism. To learn more about your legal rights and options, feel free to give us a call to arrange a consultation. We can be reached at 858-314-2400.