Property Division in the State of California

Property Division in the State of California

Property Division in the State of California

The attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP understand how to navigate California’s divorce laws. As a community property state, many people fail to realize that any assets acquired in the duration of the marriage will belong to both parties equally. Like most laws, however, there are exceptions to this and therefore, it is unequivocally important to hire a knowledgeable family law attorney. RM Law Group, LLP can advocate on your behalf and help you protect what is rightfully yours. Consider contacting the law firm today and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.

What are Considered Assets in a California Divorce?

“Assets” in a divorce are very important as they can affect many areas of the case. For this reason, it is important that all assets are not only identified but also properly valued to ensure the property division is as fair as possible. In a divorce, assets are any properties that can have true value. This may include the following tangible items:

  • Vehicles
  • Real estate
  • Businesses
  • Jewelry
  • Furniture
  • Collectibles
  • Memorabilia
  • Art

It is crucial that all assets are disclosed in a divorce to determine whether they are to be considered community property or separate property.

Community Property vs. Separate Property in California

In order to begin the complex process of property division, it is crucial to first determine whether the assets and debts are considered community property or separate property.

For the most part, the property and/or debts one party accumulated before the marriage or otherwise acquired as a gift or through inheritance during the marriage is that party’s separate property. Separate property is considered “protected property” because it is not subject to property division. Separate property can include trusts established before a marriage, including revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts. They can also include items that were purchased with earnings from that party’s separate property. According to the state Family Code §2622, separate property also includes any property that was acquired before the divorce but after the couple’s date of separation.

Under the California Family Code §2581, the assets and debts accumulated by spouses during their marriage will belong to both parties equally; therefore, they must be divided equally in the event of a divorce. This is community property. Unfortunately, there is often a blurred line when it comes to determining whether an asset or debt can be considered community property or separate property, especially because many couples combine–or commingle– their separate property with their marital property.

Division of a Business in Divorce

The three most common ways to divide a business during the divorce process are a buy out, co-ownership or selling the business. The most common method is a buy out in which one spouse buys the other spouse’s interest in the business. If the spouse that wants to keep the business does not have enough money to buy the other spouse’s interest, the buy out can take place over time in installments.

Another option is to continue jointly owning the business after the divorce is finalized with a division of roles clearly stated. In some cases, one spouse can choose to run the business while paying the other spouse payments to satisfy their share of marital assets. This can become problematic if the business is no longer profitable over time.

The last option would be to sell the business. This is the simplest way to ensure each spouse is compensated for their interest in the business and creates a clear way to divide the proceeds after business expenses are addressed.

Protect Your Assets with the Support of a Qualified Attorney

While dividing assets in a divorce can be effortless for some couples, it is not always as uncomplicated for others. When a couple is not able to reach an agreement on property division, they will need to take their case to court to reach a decision. If you are facing divorce in California, you should know that there are multiple ways in which you can protect your assets. Hire an established family law attorney who can provide you with the options you need to make the process easier and less stressful.

At RM Law Group, LLP, the law firm thrives on empowering clients facing complicated family law matters, including contentious divorce cases. During a difficult divorce, many people can be forced into making the wrong decision. With the support of RM Law Group, LLP, divorcing clients can feel at ease in knowing that they are making informed decisions that protect their rights and interests.

RM Law Group LLP
RM Law Group LLP

RM Law Group is a family law firm in Cerritos, CA. We handle cases involving divorce, child custody, child & spousal support, paternity, property division and all family matters.

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