"Piercing the Corporate Veil" in Family Law Cases: The Alter Ego Doctrine and Available Equitable Remedies
Alphonse F. Provinziano, CFLS
Alphonse Provinziano is a well known Beverly Hills Divorce and Family Law attorney. Mr. Provinziano is a Certified Family Law Specialist by the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Hastings Law School, he is the principal of Provinziano & Associates. For more information visit: http://www.Provinziano.com
During the divorce process in California, the assets of the community1 are accounted for through the use of financial disclosure forms for the purpose of dividing the assets. All property acquired during marriage from marital funds is considered community property. However, there are times when assets that would usually be owned by the community are held or acquired by another entity, whether by trust, by a corporation, or by a limited liability company. Determining whether or not those assets should properly be part of the community, rather than the separate property of the business, requires a factual analysis of the case in question through the framework of the alter ego doctrine. If this doctrine applies, then the court would "pierce the corporate veil" to disregard the separate existence of the corporate entity and to find an equitable solution for the wronged party, with the potential for a significant impact on the party that wrongfully withheld community property.
The Alter Ego Doctrine