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Sometimes We Have No Choice – Litigation…

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Although our firm is known for peacemaking through mediation and Collaborative Law, it is important for colleagues and friends to be aware that, as experts in Family Law for over forty years, when necessary, we practice traditional cutthroat litigation. The following is an interesting story about dealing with people who consider themselves above the law.

After 28 years of marriage and 12 children, Mr. X decided to leave his wife. Quietly and covertly, he began to move the in-house technology of his community property-owned business to Puerto Rico. He had decided to rebuild his business there, with much cheaper labor, and eventually leave behind his wife and the four minor children still at home. He would also leave to his wife several hundred thousand dollars in accumulated IRS debt, a rented house, and no assets.

He traveled back and forth from California to Puerto Rico for several years. During his trips, he obtained a face lift and then a penile implant. Also a twenty year old girlfriend.

When his wife came to me, she was devastated. She presented the whole sordid story and the sad fact that most, if not all, of the community property assets had already been moved offshore. I explained that we needed to act immediately to access the computer in the community-property owned business office in order to download all of the information regarding the moving of assets and any assets remaining. As his wife, my client had an absolute right to access the business, which was created during the marriage.
She was half owner of the business and had worked in the business as its bookkeeper for many years.

Over a six-week period, our team went into the office at night to access and download all of the computer information. Thus we obtained a complete record of meetings he had had with various attorneys who were advising him about offshore trusts, tax avoidance, and tax fraud. There were even letters from these attorneys, advising that he not do the illegal things he’d proposed. Yet it was clear that he had, in fact, subsequently done them.

Fortunately, when we filed our papers, we had the information that we needed to make it very clear to the courts exactly what he was up to. We were able to effectively remove the business from his control, allowing my client to keep it as well as the remaining cash flow, and vast sums of cash her husband had hoarded and tucked away in a safe.

Food for thought!

Your friend,
Ron Supancic
The Law Collaborative, APC
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
T: (818)348-6700
F: (818)348-0961