Jeff Bezos of Amazon, the world’s richest person, is getting divorced from his wife, MacKenzie Bezos, of 25 years. There is much speculation about how the couple’s immense assets, totaling $135.6 billion, will be divided. Whenever a married couple gets divorced, asset division is often one of the biggest points of conflict. It can also be the most complex, necessitating the discovery of financial records dating back years. When either couple is a business owner, it can be even more complicated to sort out. If you are getting a divorce, an experienced San Jose divorce attorney can help ensure that asset division is done in a fair manner and that you get what you deserve.
How Marital Assets Are Divided in California
During a divorce, California divides assets based on the principle of community property. In community property states, the property acquired during the marriage becomes marital property, as the two people who marry become one entity or one community under California law. However, while virtually all property (aside from settlements awards, inheritance, and a few other types of assets) belongs to each couple equally, that does not mean that the assets are divided 50-50 upon divorce. Courts will attempt to split property fairly, and not necessarily equally. “Fairly” is a vague term, and what is deemed fair to one spouse may not seem fair to the other, which is why legal representation is necessary.
A Small or Large Business Is Considered an Asset
If a business is started before marriage, or even if the spouse who did not start the business contributed to the business’s growth during the course of the marriage, the spouse who is not the business owner may be entitled to partial ownership. However, business ownership is rarely split up during a divorce, with one spouse taking a certain percentage of ownership, and the other taking another percentage. Instead, accountants are hired to determine the value of the business, and the spouse who is the business owner will continue running the business, while the other may get the house or something else equal (or not equal) in value....