California is a community property state, not an equitable distribution state. This means that all assets or assets gained during the course of a marriage belong equally to both spouses and, therefore, the assets must be divided equally between the two spouses by the court in the event of divorce. Part of your divorce involves dividing your assets and debts and obtaining a formal order from the court on these issues. Part of your divorce involves dividing your assets and debts.
Property is anything you can buy or sell or that has value. For example, a house, a car or a piece of furniture. They are also things like a bank account, a pension, 401k, or shares. Community property states view all marital property as joint property regardless of title.
This means that if while you are married you buy a house (or car, boat, etc.). In a California divorce, only assets that are considered marital property are divided. Marital property includes all assets that both spouses have acquired during the duration of the marriage. The State of California is a community property state.
This means that the rules for dividing assets in a divorce are simple. Each spouse is entitled to 50 percent of the marital property. Virtually all assets, money and assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property, with some very limited exceptions, such as an inheritance that is left to only one spouse. It doesn't matter who made the money, who bought the items or who wanted the goods; everything is considered to belong to both spouses and each is entitled to a 50% stake.
Separate property, which is property that each spouse brought to the marriage or that falls within one of the limited exceptions to community property, is maintained by the spouse to whom that particular property belongs. Separate ownership belongs to each of you individually. You don't have to divide it as part of your divorce agreement. This is because separate assets are generally classified as assets that you brought into marriage (because you had them before you married your spouse), gifts intended only for you, and inheritances.
Couples can also negotiate their own divorce settlement agreement out of court, which may not result in a 50-50 split. Community property laws simplify how to divide assets between dividing spouses by considering all assets accumulated by both parties. And in a litigated divorce, the division of assets and liabilities is determined by a family law judge. And as you have been learning, come to an agreement on what each of you feels is fair and which of your assets and liabilities are considered community versus.
If both parties understood the agreement, knew the other spouse's assets, and agreed without force, fraud or coercion, the agreement must apply in the event that the marriage ends. An experienced divorce lawyer from Irvine, CA in Brown, & Charbonneau, LLP can help you with the process of terminating your marriage and can provide you with important assistance in obtaining the property and assets you need to support yourself after your marriage ends. In divorce mediation, you decide, and you come to an agreement that you both consider fair, out of court, rather than letting a stranger decide your future. If there's one thing divorcing spouses usually agree on, it's that they both want a fair outcome.
If you hire divorce lawyers who can't help you and your spouse reach an agreement, you'll have no choice but to fight in a California court. The estate and debt part of a divorce can be complicated, especially if you have something of high value or a lot of debts. Because dividing assets and assets based on community property principles may seem unfair, couples may try to decide for themselves how they want to divide their marital assets. In order for assets to be excluded as marital property, the item must be purchased only in the name of one of the spouses and held with money separate from the marital funds.
Joe is passionate about helping couples avoid the destruction of lawyer-driven litigation and specializes in helping couples resolve issues required for divorce peacefully, fairly, and cost-effectively. But now that you're facing a divorce, you have questions about California community property and how exactly the division of assets and liabilities works. Bill is 61, Diane is 48, they've been married for 25 years, there's no dispute over premarital assets, and Diane wants a divorce. .