California Divorce for Doctors 101: Everything You Need to Know

california divorce for doctors

Divorce is usually a very stressful and challenging time. For doctors, especially, a divorce is perhaps more draining due to keeping odd hours, tremendous responsibility, and the added emotional demands of treating patients. When facing a California divorce for doctors, you must have the best available legal advice. Make sure your attorney is experienced in a high-income California divorce. A divorce will affect not only the married couple but also the children, relatives, and even your practice.

Protect all Your Years of Hard Work

Property division for a doctor is not an easy feat. The value of the medical practice as a financial asset will have to be determined. The influence your spouse had on the practice will be considered; did he/she work there? What was his/her role? Did the practice grow thanks to him or her?

getting divorced as a doctor californiaThe medical practice also has an intangible value, which is the physician´s knowledge and capabilities, which in turn earn financial retribution above the one derived from the actual office itself. This is important to keep in mind as a judge would not award a business to a spouse that cannot continue to service it as in the case of a medical practice.

Experts will have to determine the professional goodwill of a practice. Variables to consider include the doctor´s skill and his reputation, the location of the practice, the operational systems, the staff, and the billing and scheduling systems. Usually, other factors like age, past earnings, and professional success of the doctor, have an impact on the goodwill assessment also.

High-Income Medical Professionals

High-income California divorce is common for doctors as they generally earn higher salaries than the average individual. California is a community property state; this means that the division of assets must be 50/50 in the event of a divorce. That is, except for assets that are considered separate property. These include assets either party owned before the marriage, from an inheritance or personal gift. If you have a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement, that will make things easier.

high income california divorceA business started prior to marriage, while separate property, still may contain a community interest earned during the marriage.   The apportionment of the value to the community or a party’s separate property will likely need to be determined by an expert. 

If there are children involved, you will have to address other items like alimony and child support. Usually, in cases where one of the spouses is a doctor, the other spouse is often a stay-home-parent or has a lower income. Spousal support will be based on the judge´s evaluation of various factors, like how long has the couple been married, what the spouse´s income is, and the lifestyle of the married couple. Child support is calculated based on California guidelines.Agreement

If both parties have a written agreement, it could expedite the process. You both must realize that you will never get everything you want, but a reasonable settlement can be achieved. Both parties will have some decline in their income, but a fair balance can be found. This agreement must be clear to avoid future litigation.

Choose an Experienced Divorce Attorney in California 

Getting divorced as a doctor in California does not have to be a nightmare. Neumann Family Law, APC can help you protect yourself, your children, your property and your future.  Give Neumann Family Law, APC a call at (619) 282-1107 where knowledge and experience matter.

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