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What do complex property division attorneys do and when do you need one

Updated: May 11, 2022

Divorce is a stressful and emotional time, a difficult period to make important decisions. As you prepare for divorce, you should determine whether you need the assistance of a complex property division attorney who has expertise in the division of marital property that goes beyond a basic split.

Not all divorces are equal. Some are more complex and require knowledgeable and reliable legal representation beyond basic property attorneys. Idaho is a community property state, which means that everything acquired during the marriage will be divided equally among the spouses when they divorce. Whatever property or debts that the spouses may have had before the marriage remain separate property of the original owner in the divorce. That is, unless the other spouse received an ownership interest during the marriage and was listed on the title of the asset as an owner.

What is complex property division?

property division attorneys

There are factors that can complicate certain property divisions in some divorces. Sometimes, it is not so easy to separate community property from separate property brought into the marriage. Dividing that property can be difficult and require the expertise of a complex property division attorney. For example, if one partner in the marriage owns a business or some other asset that the other spouse supported in some way with either work contributions or money during the marriage, it becomes more difficult to divide that asset. If the spouses cannot agree on how to divide the property, then a judge will have to decide for them.

That's why it's important to consider experienced complex property division attorneys in Idaho Falls. Smith, Woolf, Anderson & Wilkinson can use its expertise and resources as a full-service law firm to help you navigate the challenging waters of a complicated property division during a divorce. Smith, Woolf, Anderson & Wilkinson is a trusted law firm that provides comprehensive and discreet services for divorce and complex property division.

When do you need to hire a complex property division attorney?

In a simple divorce case, the spouses may agree to split up the community property by selling assets or liquidating them, and then splitting the proceeds. They may simply divide all the assets and debts between them equally, or one spouse buys out the other for an agreed upon price.

However, in more complicated divorce cases, it can be challenging to reach agreement on what is community property and what is separate property. It may not be an easy discussion to divide assets after one partner claims an interest. This can be particularly difficult for high net worth couples or splitting spouses who share assets such as stock portfolios, real estate holdings, pension benefits or a family business.

Unique circumstances of complex property division

These complex property division cases can also include assets such as professional practices, including doctors and accountants; hidden assets; retirement accounts; art; vacation homes; and multiple real estate investments, either residential or commercial. These cases also require additional resources beyond the more typical divorce proceeding, such as investigators, tax experts, forensic accountants and other professionals who may be required to identify assets, perform reliable appraisals and valuations, and to establish the ownership interests of all parties.

This is when a complex property division attorney can provide the necessary expertise, resources and negotiating skills needed to manage more involved matters that have such significant financial and tax implications. If an agreement cannot be reached on how to divide the property in the divorce, a judge must decide for the couple. The judge may consider the marriage's length, each spouse's needs, each spouse's earning ability and any agreements made before the marriage, including a prenuptial agreement.

It is important to have a trusted and reputable law firm working on your behalf, particularly in difficult property division cases. Each client's case is different and requires special attention, but expertise in more complex property division cases is essential to ensuring an outcome that serves you best. When you need to protect your rights and when no other resolution is possible, Smith, Woolf, Anderson & Wilkinson can ensure your interests are aggressively protected.

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