What is Yours And What is Ours: Property Division In California

What is Yours And What is Ours: Property Division In California

Date: Nov 27, 2022
In: Divorce

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What is Yours And What is Ours: Property Division In California

While every divorce follows its own unique path, each must tackle the primary concern of dividing your marital property. This division of assets has the potential to become very hotly contested very quickly, and the matter of which property is marital and which is separate can become a sticking point that seriously impedes progress – making the divorce process that much more costly and time-consuming. 

If you are facing a divorce with significant property issues, it is time to consult with a dedicated California divorce attorney who has experience successfully handling complex cases like yours. 

Community Property and Separate Property

Everything that you, your spouse, or you and your spouse own at the time of your divorce will be categorized as either separate or community property, which is sometimes called marital property. It is important to note, however, that – if you came to own it while you were married – the asset is almost certainly marital, regardless of which spouse’s name is attached. The only exceptions include the following:

  • Gifts received during the marriage that were given in one spouse’s name alone
  • Inheritances received during the marriage that were made in one spouse’s name alone

The separate property that either of you owned prior to marriage, brought into the marriage with you, and were able to keep separate throughout will remain that spouse’s separate property, but it is important to understand that keeping assets separate during a marriage is generally a tall order. 

The Division of Marital Property

California is what is known as a community property state. This means that all the assets that are deemed community property – or their value – must be divided between you equally upon divorce. 

Your Separation

Assets that either of you acquired separately prior to marriage or after you separated may remain separate property, but you will need to establish that dividing line – of your marriage or separation. While your marriage date is clear, separation is often less so. If you obtained a legal separation, the matter is established, but not every divorce proceeds in this manner. Another means of establishing separation for the purposes of property division includes the following two elements:

  • Either spouse letting the other know – via either actions, words, or both – that they intend to end the marriage
  • Proceeding from this point with actions that support this intent

Often, separation means moving out of the family home, but this is not always feasible – or necessary. Deciding together that you are going to proceed with a divorce is enough to establish a separation for the purposes of dividing your property. Things only become more complicated from here and working closely with a seasoned divorce attorney is almost always in your best interests.

An Experienced California Divorce Attorney Is on Your Side

The divorce attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, have the experience, drive, and legal insight to skillfully protect your financial rights as they relate to property division throughout the legal process. Learn more by contacting us today.

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