Dividing Complex Assets through Divorce Mediation

Mediation divorce to divide complex assets

Even in the most straightforward divorce, the division of marital assets can be exceptionally challenging. When there are especially valuable or complex assets, however, it can be that much more so. Fortunately,  a divorce attorney mediator may be able to help you hammer out a settlement that works for both of you without the uncertainty, time, and money associated with going to trial.

Divorce Financial Planning & Analysis in San Diego

As a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst Scott Levin specializes in financial planning and advice tailored to the unique circumstances of divorce.  Scot Levin CDFA is able to help navigate you through the monetary maze of San Diego divorce.
Scott’s clients include executives, professionals, business owners and grey divorce San Diego retirees.

Attorney Scott Levin is a former divorce litigator who has dedicated his practice to helping divorcing couples find common ground through meditation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to find out how we can help you.

What San Diego Mediation for Divorce Has to Offer

Too many divorcing couples are thrown off course by complex property division, which can lead to highly contentious – and costly – divorces. In addition, adversarial litigation can set the stage for a more challenging post-divorce relationship that can be especially hard on any children they may have. Mediation affords couples a framework to negotiate terms that support the rights of and make sense for each spouse.

At mediation, you’ll find the tools you need to resolve complex financial matters while retaining decision-making authority, which most couples find highly motivating and are willing to dig a bit deeper to achieve. Mediation is not a magical process whereby divorcing couples rekindle happier feelings toward one another and put their animosity to rest. It can, however, afford divorcing spouses the space they need to negotiate terms through a mutual process of give and take that honors the relationship they once had and can pave the way toward a more amicable future.   Learn more about Scott Levin by listening to his interview about his commitment to amicable divorce services. 

California Community Property – The Basics

California is a community property state. This means that anything either spouse – or both spouses together – comes to own during the marriage belongs to each spouse equally and must be divided evenly in the event of divorce. Separate assets refer to assets that either spouse owned prior to marriage and kept separate throughout the union or assets acquired during the marriage from gifts or inheritance. California law begins with the presumption that all assets are marital assets, which means the spouse who claims a separate property is tasked with proving its separate nature.

Scott Levin is an adjunct law professor for a San Diego law school and we encourage you to read about his experience teaching California community property law.

Generally, separate property is property you brought into the marriage or that you obtained as a gift or through inheritance. In addition, property you obtained after you separated will likely be treated as separate. All of that said, if you commingled separate property with marital property, that may turn it into community property. Additionally, if your separate property increased in value during your marriage, your spouse may have an interest in the appreciation.

The law is complex and so while these rules may seem simple enough, there is a reason that you need the guidance of a professional during a divorce in California.

Complex Property Division Generally Begins with Valuations

In a divorce, the first step in dividing assets is identifying them as community property or separate property. From here, it’s necessary to assign value, which can be a challenge, especially with complicated or non-tangible assets. Some examples of assets that can be difficult to value include:

  • Family businesses
  • Investments in real estate through syndicates
  • Private company stock awards
  • Business interests
  • Restricted Stock Units
  • Pensions
  • Intellectual property

When determining the value of an asset without a clear value, your mediator should have a good network who they can refer to so that you can bring in a trusted neutral expert to provide a valuation. Getting counsel from appraisers, tax professionals and cpas, business valuation experts and others is essential. You need to know the value of your assets in order to make informed intelligent decisions during the settlement discussions. Clear values are needed in order to divide assets fairly during divorce.

Getting the Most Out of Mediation

When you address the matter of property division at divorce mediation, you retain the authority to resolve the issue between yourselves in an ideal setting for doing so. Your mediator will go back and forth between you as you craft a mutually acceptable division that you’re both willing to sign off on. Some of the benefits of California divorce mediation include the following:

  • It’s not part of the public record
  • It’s less expensive, requires less time, and is less emotionally taxing than going to court
  • It is far less formal than litigation, which often fosters collaboration and less adversarial communication
  • It can help keep your divorce from becoming a highly contentious battle that prompts each of you to continually raise the stakes
  • The terms you reach are your own – they aren’t handed down to you by someone you don’t know.

Turn to an Experienced Divorce Attorney-Mediator in Southern California for the Help You Need

Scott F. Levin at San Diego Mediation Divorce & Family Law is a compassionate divorce attorney-mediator helping clients throughout Southern California resolve complex asset division terms outside of court. Mediation affords a more collaborative approach to divorce that allows couples to reach their own terms in a comfortable setting that supports fair negotiations. Throughout California, our services help couples and families navigate divorce, from La Jolla to Orange County to the tip of Northern California.  For more information about what we can do to help you, please don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at 858-255-1321 today.