Solving Complex Family Law Issues with Creative Strategies

A Guide to High-Value Assets & Divorce in California

High-value assets and high net-worth divorces are more nuanced and complicated than many divorcing spouses realize. In addition to all of the legal complications that involve a “typical” divorce, such as child custody, child support, and property division, there is an additional layer of complexity due to the quantity and value of assets. Additionally, since more is at stake, the case can quickly devolve into a hotly contested one. If you are going through a high asset or net worth case, you need a legal team with the knowledge and experience of handling these financially complex divorce cases. Moradi Saslaw Family Law Attorneys has the experience, knowledge, and resources you need during this pivotal time. Learn more about how we can help by calling (415) 872-1080 or contacting us online.

How Property Is Divided in a California Divorce

California is a community property state. This means that all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is generally presumed to be equally owned by both spouses. The spouses can either reach a fair property settlement agreement, or the court can decide how to divide property. In a high net worth and asset divorce case, you may have valuable community property at stake, such as:

  • A primary residence
  • A second home, rental property, commercial property, or land
  • Luxury vehicles and watercraft
  • Multiple bank accounts, including stock or brokerage accounts
  • Business interests
  • Retirement accounts
  • Intellectual property, such as trademarks, patents, and copyrights
  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies
  • Fine art and collectibles
  • Club memberships
  • Digital assets

Valuing Assets

To fairly divide assets, you will need to first know what their monetary value is. For high-value assets, you will likely need to hire a third-party assessor who can provide an objective evaluation. If you have certain collections or business interests, you may need an appraiser with expertise in the area. The appraised value may consider the market price for the asset, the breadth of the market, and the relative value of similar assets.

Establishing Income

Your and your spouse’s income will be considered for determining support matters. However, income for high net worth individuals may be more complicated to calculate than a person who works 40 hours a week and brings home the same paycheck each week. Higher net worth people may have:

  • Base income
  • Business income
  • Capital gains income
  • Passive income
  • Profit distributions
  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Stocks
  • Options
  • Car allowance
  • Expense allowance
  • Untaxed income
  • Phantom income
  • Deferred income

Child Support

Most calculations of child support are relatively straightforward. You can use a formula or computer program to determine the appropriate amount of support. However, these methods may not work for high-net-worth individuals. It is possible that using the standard guidelines could result in a support order that exceeds the child’s needs. This is considered the “extraordinarily high income” exception and can sometimes allow a parent to pay less than the guideline amount if the support order would not be appropriate.


Alimony can be ordered in high-value asset and divorce cases in California when one spouse needs financial support after the marriage, usually, because they sacrificed their own career to help their spouse or raise children, and the other spouse has the means to pay it.

We Handle the Most Complex High-Value Asset Divorces

If you are dealing with a high net-worth divorce case, Moradi Saslaw Family Law Attorneys is the firm you need. We can protect your rights and explain your options during a confidential case review you can arrange by calling (415) 872-1080 or contacting us online.