California is a community property state which, in short, means that assets attained during the marriage, except in very clearly defined circumstances, are considered community property in which each spouse has an undivided one-half interest. This is also referred to as matrimonial assets. Often, however, the division of property is not as simple as dividing everything in half.
Community property can be applied to the following, but is not limited to:
Accrued debt can also be considered community property when determining the division of assets in a divorce.
Separate property, or non-marital assets, are assets that are not subject to division in a divorce. Examples of this include gifts and inheritances that spouses acquire before marriage. Separately held bank accounts, personal injury settlements and property acquired post dissolution of marriage are also considered separate property. In short, property and assets that predate marriage — unless “transmuted” into community property are off limits during the divorce process.
As mentioned above, the division of assets and property may not as simple as dividing everything 50/50. There are three main factors that are taken into consideration by family court judges include:
Additionally, family courts will assess the following when dividing assets in a divorce:
Great care needs to be given to characterizing and valuing your assets properly to ensure that each party is awarded his or her fair share, otherwise known as equitable division, of the marital estate.
Our California Family Law firms are located in:
Nevada offices are located in:
We also provide legal representation for family law issues in: