CA High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer
Pasadena High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
The emotional strain undergoing a divorce can create is one of the most stressful situations many people will ever experience. However, high net worth divorce cases are often considered a category of their own, as they involve various other complications the average divorce does not. As a result, these cases require the guidance of a skilled high net worth divorce attorney with experience navigating complexities like taxes, business valuation, property valuation, asset tracing, stock valuation, retirement and investment account division, prenuptial agreements, complex trusts, and other considerations resulting from the division of a high-value estate.
These complications exist in addition to some of the more universal divorce considerations, such as determining child support, child custody, spousal support, post-divorce modifications, and more.
For that reason, if you are facing a high net worth divorce, it is critical to ensure you secure the services of an attorney who specializes in the unique needs of a high-asset divorcing couple. The experienced Pasadena high net worth divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Patricia Rigdon are skilled in precisely the type of negotiation and divorce litigation you require during this challenging time.
What Is Considered a High Net Worth Divorce?
High net worth divorce generally refers to divorce cases that involve over $1 million in assets. However, it is important to keep in mind that these assets can take on a wide variety of forms. Assets in a high net worth divorce can exist as physical property like cars, art or collectibles, real estate properties, business shares, corporate benefits, bank accounts, retirement funds or pensions, stock holdings, and even overseas accounts.
As a result, many high net worth divorce cases involve tens or even hundreds of millions in assets. This significant value introduces a host of additional factors that must be considered from a legal standpoint and increases the overall complexity of the divorce proceedings. Determining the separation and distribution of community property in California, for example, involves extensive valuation of all assets involved before division, which can significantly lengthen the divorce process.
Should I Tell My Divorce Lawyer Everything?
If you have ever worked with an attorney before, then you likely already know that your attorney will value honesty as one of their top prerequisites for securing their services. However, is it really that important to be forthright with your divorce lawyer? The simple answer is that yes, you should absolutely remain upfront and honest with your attorney at all stages of the divorce process. Hiding information from your lawyer will damage your case, especially if your dishonesty is revealed in court.
Even if you fear that revealing certain information will make you look bad, you should still be upfront with your divorce attorney. In high asset divorce cases especially, there is a substantial volume of assets on the line. Choosing to hide assets, falsify your income, deceive the court regarding asset valuation, or otherwise lying to the court can have a detrimental impact on the outcome of your case. You could develop a negative standing in the court, face a reduction in your settlement, or even receive fines for committing perjury during litigation.
What is the Average Retainer Fee for a Divorce Lawyer?
An attorney’s retainer fee essentially functions as a down payment, which an individual must pay to reserve an attorney’s services after hire. A standard divorce lawyer in the United States charges a retainer fee of between $3000 and $4,000. Of course, you may find a less experienced divorce lawyer that will charge as little as $1,000, while others may charge well above $5,000.
As with any legal practice area, the fee you must pay for a Pasadena high net worth divorce lawyer can vary quite significantly. High net worth divorce attorneys must navigate complicated property division and considerations standard attorneys do not, resulting in proceedings more likely to require lengthy negotiation, mediation, and litigation. For a complex high net worth divorce, it is possible for the retainer fee to exceed the average fees listed above, especially if you secure the services of a quality high net worth divorce attorney. For that reason, as enticing as lower retainer fees can be, it is important to keep in mind that you are likely to lose far more money than you would have saved by hiring a novice attorney without experience litigating a high net worth divorce.
How Can You Tell if a Divorce Attorney Is Bad?
Of course, the divorce lawyers with the highest retainer fees are not always the most skilled. Thus, when you are facing a high net worth divorce, finding the most expensive divorce attorney does not guarantee your success. So, how can you tell an attorney may not be able to handle your case before you hire them? Look for a few key signs:
- Poor communication. Any attorney should promptly return your phone calls and respond to written communication quickly during the interview process.
- Lateness. An overworked or irresponsible attorney that is late to your consultation, interview, or other meetings may miss important deadlines for your case.
- Unfamiliarity. High net worth divorce requires a lawyer familiar with the unique requirements of this case type as well as California law and local court procedures.
- Unethical actions. If an attorney guarantees specific results, asks you to hide assets, or takes any other unethical action, you may need to contact the California Bar Association.
- Poor personality fit. If you feel as if an attorney is not listening to your needs, is demeaning or rude, or even if you just don’t feel comfortable being open and honest with them, it is probably time to move on to the next attorney on your list.
Patricia Rigdon, Pasadena High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
DO YOU NEED LEGAL HELP?
The mediation process provides a more peaceful alternative to fighting about your personal issues in court. Read more to see if divorce mediation is right for you.
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Litigation in the divorce process involves submitting issues to family court in order to resolve them with the assitance of a judge, if both parties cannot reach an agreement in other ways. Read more to see if Divorce Litigation will be needed.