Property Division

California is a Community Property state, meaning that “all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage” is the property of both spouses.  During a divorce the court will determine what, if anything, is the separate property of only one spouse.

Property issues during a divorce can be easy if you and your spouse have simple assets and both parties agree to what there is to split. However, when assets rise, so too does the complexity of the division of community property.  California law requires that community property – which, generally speaking, is property acquired during marriage – be divided equally.  But obtaining a fair and equal division of community property requires far more than simply dividing by two.
The key to developing a sound picture of the estate of high net worth individuals is having appraisals and valuations carried out by experts in their field.  Our lawyers draw from the finest experts in their respective fields to create a team that can appraise businesses, professional practices, real estate, art, collectibles, automobiles, intellectual property and many hard-to-value assets.  This information is the foundation in making rational decisions regarding the division or sale of assets and determining the tax implications that follow.

At The Reis Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive experience handling complex property distribution matters, particularly in large estates where there are significant investment and property holdings both in and out of California.  We make every reasonable effort to negotiate a settlement that works for you and your spouse.  After all, a mutually satisfactory settlement is almost always preferable to a solution that is imposed by the court.  Even the best judge does not have the personal knowledge of your financial situation that you do, which is one of the reasons why we counsel our clients to pursue settlement where possible.

Working with our internal team of forensic accountants and with the top forensic accounting firms in Southern California, we have the expertise to make sure that all assets are carefully evaluated and divided fairly.

And while we strive to craft settlements that are acceptable to both parties, we also recognize that not every case can be settled.  Differing views of how to value and divide assets and debts, not to mention emotions that may be running high, sometimes prevent a negotiated solution after all reasonable efforts at settlement have been exhausted.  In those cases, the attorneys at The Reis Law Firm are prepared to litigate on your behalf.  Before trial, we prepare carefully, investigating, gathering evidence and working with experts, as may be appropriate.  Our goal is to make the most effective and persuasive presentation to the court.  At trial, we bring years of experience to the courtroom, and our competence, skill and integrity have given us an excellent reputation among family law judges and have earned us the respect of other family lawyers.