Need Help Protecting Your Assets And Property In Los Angeles?
Some of the most complicated and contested issues in a divorce can involve the division of assets and debts. At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, I can help you protect your assets and resolve your property division issues. I am Steven Stolar, and I am committed to helping my clients – people like you – protect their families and financial interests during a divorce. Backed by 35 years of practice, I bring more than my legal skill to the table; I provide a truly caring perspective and give each client the personalized representation their case needs.
I can bring the following to the table:
- More than 35 years of combined legal experience
- Extensive familiarity with Los Angeles courts
- Strong cases that are built with the help of financial experts
- Spanish-speaking services
Call me at 310-800-2132 to discuss your case during an initial evaluation.
Delivering Experienced And Caring Advocacy
Divorce is a highly stressful experience, especially when assets and property are involved. This is why I approach each case with diligence and care. I am experienced and attentive from start to finish. Regardless of the complexity of your asset and property case, I have the resources and insight to provide you with an effective solution.
Issues involving assets and property often include:
- Commingled property
- Locating hidden assets
- Retirement plans and divorce
- Division of debts
- Division of investments
- Division of personal and inherited property
- Divorce and your business
How To Deal With Commingled Property In Divorce
One of the most frequently contested issues is whether specific assets should be treated as community or separate property. Community property is subject to valuation and division, whereas separate property belongs to one spouse alone. Determining whether assets one divorcing spouse acquired before the marriage or through a gift or inheritance should be divided involves establishing whether those assets were commingled – that is, whether they were intermixed with marital assets during the course of the marriage.
I have the proven ability to interpret the findings of forensic accountants and find the best path to a favorable settlement or judgment for my client by:
- Producing evidence that a piece of real estate, investment account, family heirloom, or other asset was never commingled and belongs to our client alone
- Contesting opposing attorneys’ claims involving separate or commingled property
- Developing a comprehensive accounting of all assets involved
- Creating an account of both parties’ contributions to the marriage
- Attacking or defending a prenuptial agreement with diligence and tenacity
Division Of Debt During A Divorce
Under California law, all debts incurred during marriage are considered “community” debts – with both spouses equally liable for them – regardless of which spouse incurred them and for what purpose. However, this does not mean that debt will necessarily be divided “50/50” in the divorce settlement or judgment. Counsel from a financially savvy, resourceful family law attorney can be absolutely essential to protect you against a disadvantageous outcome when it comes to absorbing marital debt. At my firm, Stolar & Associates, I can analyze all aspects of your financial situation, work to understand your priorities and advocate on your behalf.
My knowledge extends across the spectrum of complex property and debt division:
- Negotiating exchanges in which one spouse agrees to take responsibility for a greater percentage of marital debt in exchange for a greater percentage of assets
- Performing investigative work and forensic accounting to establish whether debts predated the marriage or were incurred after the parties separated with no intent to reconcile
- Accurately calculating tax consequences of various property and debt settlement scenarios – and pursuing innocent spouse claims on behalf of people victimized by a former spouse’s incorrect or fraudulent tax filings
- Providing bankruptcy and foreclosure defense representation when needed
Investment Division During The Divorce Process
As you prepare to negotiate a property division settlement involving pensions, 401(k) funds, IRAs, and other types of retirement funds, you should make a complete inventory of you and your spouse’s retirement assets. Determining the actual value and the assignment of ownership of pensions, 401(k) savings accounts, and IRAs is often a complicated matter. Not all retirement assets are equal. Different types of funds have different characteristics, which may translate to differences in the way they might be valued and divided in a divorce.
Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, can assist you with matters involving investment division. I can help ensure your interests are protected in all aspects of property division, including the division of retirement assets. I am prepared to dig in and efficiently obtain necessary information, which may be more time and cost-effective than if you had worked with a less experienced lawyer.
Among the important questions I will ask are:
- What type of funds are components of your retirement portfolio, and how do they work?
- What retirement assets, if any, did you and/or your spouse bring into the marriage?
- What portion of your retirement funds was accumulated during the marriage?
We understand how critical it is to work with the right financial experts in preparation for division of pensions, 401(k)s and IRAs in a California divorce. We are ready to explain to you how qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) are likely to figure into your overall property division process. Ultimately, you should clearly understand what portion of your or your spouse’s retirement assets will go to each of you when the time comes to retire.
Assisting Individuals With Business Property Division
Determining an accurate value of the business is often a major undertaking. Values change from one day to the next with changing stock markets, commodities markets, real estate markets, and the overall economic climate of a region. In order to ensure that your or your spouse’s business is correctly valued in preparation for a California divorce, work with an experienced family law firm that understands technical, financial matters such as ours.
Added to the challenges of determining who actually owns what is the fact that business assets can include a number of different things:
- Commercial real estate
- Tools, machinery and other implements used to conduct business
- Consumable products paid for by a business and used in the process of conducting the business, such as paper, glue, scissors, photocopy toner, pens and pencils
- Goods, including raw materials and finished products ready to be sold
- Intellectual property
- Human talent (staff)
- Goodwill and reputation
Business property can be one of the most challenging components of property division in a high-asset divorce. For example, someone who owns business assets may be a co-owner or one investor among several or many, with a partial stake in the business – or perhaps one spouse has a greater interest in a business than the other. My firm can help you resolve any business property division issue that may arise during your divorce, no matter how complex.
Discovering Hidden Assets In Divorce
Some people take extreme measures to avoid providing full financial disclosure in a California divorce. It is unfortunately common for one spouse to hide income and/or assets from the other in an effort to emerge from divorce with a greater share of money and property than they would otherwise retain. If you know or believe your spouse is hiding assets to gain an unfair advantage in your divorce, your choice of a law firm to represent you is critical.
At Stolar & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation, I have decades of experience exposing illicit financial activity and protecting clients’ futures. I wish to help you too. Whether locating hidden assets requires gaining access to business and banking records, tracking electronic financial transactions or other methods, I will take every step necessary. My capabilities go beyond proving such assets exist to capturing and protecting them to ensure you receive your fair share.
You can count on our firm to call upon the most qualified forensic accountants available and any other experts needed for your specific case, which may involve:
- Misrepresentation of income from self-employment, professional practice, etc.
- Funds deposited in offshore bank accounts or other foreign holdings
- Stashes of cash, precious metals, jewelry or other easily liquidated property
- Placement of assets in the name of family members, friends or business associates with the intention of reclaiming them after your divorce is finalized
Dividing Retirement Plan Assets In Divorce
The division of funds held in retirement savings accounts, such as 401(k) plans, is a critical issue for many Californians facing divorce. Some people mistakenly assume that, because contributions may have come from one spouse’s pay alone, a pension or retirement account will be treated differently than other assets acquired during the marriage.
Generally speaking, all retirement savings amassed during the marriage are community property subject to division between divorcing spouses. Given that qualified retirement accounts, government pensions, and other such plans are often among a couple’s most valuable property, it is essential to work with a lawyer who understands valuation methods, the laws governing their division, tax considerations and other relevant matters.
My knowledge and capabilities extend to the following:
- Carefully conducting valuation of assets including 401(k) plans, IRAs, SEPs, and more
- Conducting the necessary investigation to prove that savings and interest accumulated prior to marriage are treated as separate property during divorce
- Drafting the necessary qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) that direct plan administrators to distribute funds in a timely and legal fashion
- Ensuring that the value of retirement assets are accurately reflected
Protecting Assets With A Prenuptial Agreement
The best time to protect your assets is prior to the marriage. How? By establishing a prenuptial agreement that can change the rules of community property.
A prenuptial agreement allows you to do the following:
- Agree before the marriage about which assets are separate
- Agree which assets acquired during the marriage will be considered separate
If you are already married, you and your spouse may decide to draft a post-marital agreement. For the court to honor a post-marital agreement, the parties must have entered the agreement without threat or pressure. Both parties to a premarital or post-marital agreement should be represented by an attorney to insure that the rights and interests of both are protected.
Contact Our Attorneys Without Delay
My firm can provide you with the experienced divorce counsel and asset protection strategies you need to feel more confident about your future. I have a reputation for going above and beyond for all of my clients.
To learn more about how I can help, please call my firm.