Community Property

One of the objectives of the divorce process is to divide your property. In California, property is divided according to community property law. This means that all property that is acquired during marriage will be divided equally between you and your spouse equally – unless it was a gift or inheritance, or was acquired before marriage.

For most divorces, the division of property will probably include a division of the family residence, bank accounts, retirement accounts and vehicles. More complex divorce matters will include a division of other real property, multiple bank accounts, retirement accounts, stock options, patents, copyrights, royalties, and businesses. More complex matters can also involve a division of community work efforts or cash put into separate property.

There are exceptions to the equal division rule. For example, in some cases education loans are assigned to the party that incurred the debt. In cases where there are more debts than assets, the court can divide the community estate unequally. Certain personal injury awards are not divided equally. Social security benefits are not divided at all and are subject to federal law.

When people go about the task of dividing property, they often disagree about the value of certain property. In some cases, they differ about the date property should be valued. They may also fail to consider potential tax consequences in arriving at their division of property.

We have the expertise to handle the division of assets in simple and complex cases. While most of our cases are settled out of court through negotiation, we are prepared to litigate issues that cannot be resolved between the parties. For more information regarding property division, please contact us to set up a consultation.