What Should Doctors Know When Divorcing?

doctor holding stethoscope

As a doctor, you’re used to high-stress situations. Whether you’re a surgeon in the operating room or a family doctor on the hunt for a diagnosis, navigating complex matters is a specialty for you. However, when you add a divorce on top of your responsibilities as a physician, it can become too much to handle. As such, understanding what California doctors can expect during divorce is critical. Luckily, the following blog explores what you should know about these matters and why consulting Los Angeles high net worth divorce attorneys is in your best interest.

What Complexities Can Arise in Divorces Involving Doctors?

It’s no secret that doctors are paid handsomely for their efforts to save lives and help keep patients healthy. As such, dividing property can be an incredibly complex issue during a divorce. Under California’s community property laws, a spouse is entitled to an even 50/50 split of assets during a divorce. As such, all assets earned while married or co-mingled with marital assets are subject to division during a divorce.

Additionally, if you run your own practice, understanding what will happen to it during a divorce is critical. After all, you’ve likely worked hard for decades to build your reputation in the medical community and open a successful practice. However, it is a business nonetheless, and its financial value must be determined. Generally, the courts will consider whether or not your spouse contributed to the success of the business, whether they worked there for a period or sacrificed their own career to help support yours.

However, the court likely would not give your practice to your spouse as they do not have the education or legal license to practice medicine. Your medical license, even if obtained during the marriage, is not considered community property due to the nature of this asset. Instead, they would likely award your spouse an asset of equal value to the portion of the business they would be entitled to, as they will not grant ownership of your medical practice to your spouse.

What Should I Do to Protect Myself During a Divorce?

If you just received your medical license but have not yet tied the knot with your partner and are curious as to what happens in the event you divorce, you should consider creating a pre-nuptial agreement. This is a legally binding document that details how you will divide assets and property in the event you should divorce. This can help ease the stress of this process, as these complex matters are already determined.

However, if divorce is imminent, you may find that it’s in your best interest to enlist the help of an experienced attorney. Just as you would advise your patients to skip the at-home treatments and seek medical care, you should avoid DIY-ing your divorce. At the Zitser Family Law Group, our team is well-equipped to handle the many complexities that can arise in a divorce involving physicians. We have experience handling complex assets and high net worth divorces, so you can rest assured that your case is in good hands. This can help you achieve the peace of mind necessary to focus on helping your patients. Contact us today to learn how we can help you through these challenging times.

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