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Traditional Divorce

Uncontested Divorce: Where the parties are in agreement as to how they wish to resolve their case, but they wish for an attorney to handle the process properly, efficiently and at reasonable cost. Such cases can often be taken on a flat fee basis.
Contested Divorce: Parties are typically in dispute about child custody, child support, spousal support or division of property or debts. Negotiation and limited litigation are usually sufficient to resolve such cases.

Complex Divorce: Parties are highly contentious over child custody, child support, spousal support and/or property division. Often there are allegations of abuse or financial misfeasance. Litigation is nearly always required. 

Hidden Income and Assets

Business Valuation and Division

A recurring problem arises in divorce cases when one spouse hides income or assets from the other. This problem often occurs in connection with spouses who own their own businesses or are paid in cash. Hiding income is usually done to reduce support obligations, and hiding assets is usually done to prevent the other spouse from obtaining a fair property division.
Complex issues arise when a spouse owns or manages a business. A business must be valued to be divided, a determination must be made as to who will manage the business while the case is pending, and it must ultimately be determined whether one spouse or the other will receive the business as part of the division of property, or whether the business will be sold. Before this determination may be made, the business must be characterized as either a community or separate property asset; in many cases a business may be partly community and partly separate. The value of the business, and who will manage it or take it as an asset, will likely impact support obligations. Sometimes the spouse running the business hides income and devalues the asset by failing to report revenues or improperly listing personal expenses as business expenses.  An understanding of business practices, metrics, accounting systems and tracing techniques are essential to unravel such activities.

Fraudulent Transfers

Sometimes a spouse will dispose of an asset by transferring it to a friend, family member or associate without a reasonable exchange of value, with an agreement that the property will later be returned to the spouse, or simply held for the benefit of the spouse. This takes the asset out of the community estate, depriving the other spouse of his or her share of the asset when property is divided. Likewise, sometimes a spouse will encumber an asset with liens without a reasonable exchange of value, leaving little or no equity to divide in a divorce. Such actions are likely “fraudulent transfers,” made with the intent to prevent the other spouse from receiving a fair property settlement in the divorce. Fraudulent transfers are complex legal matters often requiring the joinder of third parties to the divorce action.

Unpaid Child and Spousal Support

There are those who will not pay their support obligations voluntarily, no matter what orders exist. Enforcing a support obligation will usually be a difficult, emotionally-challenging and drawn-out affair. A broad understanding of complex enforcement protocols, including levy and garnishment, is required.