One of the most complicated issues in a legal separation or divorce is that of property division. The process of property division in the State of California will determine what each spouse will be awarded by a family court judge. This article will encompass important factors you should know about property division and how you can help to protect your interests in this part of the divorce.
Defining Community Property
When assets are obtained during a marriage, these are generally considered as community property, which should be equally divided in a divorce. There are exceptions to this, however, as any asset that was acquired by means of a gift, inheritance or devise, the property is considered separate. Additionally, property that has been acquired before entering into legal union can also be considered separate property. In certain situations, there are assets that could be characterized as commingled assets or debts. When this happens, the asset and/or debt will be both separate property and community property.
Normally, separating couples can work out a separation of property that they both feel is fair. But remember, until a judge signs off on your agreement and issues a final order, your community property and debts still belong to the 2 of you and do not become separate even if you have agreed on how to divide them between yourselves.
Asset Division by Family Court
The State of California is one of the few states that have community property laws. These laws are applicable when a couple has decided to divorce or legally separate. When a couple cannot agree on how the assets should be divided, a family court judge will make the final determination. A judge will use one of the following methods to conclude the asset divisions:
In-Kind Division – When assets can be easily divided, the court will divide the amount equally among the parties.
Asset Distribution or Cash Out Division – When assets cannot be easily divided, the court will award assets to one spouse and award other assets of similar value to the other spouse. This is a time consuming process that is not favorable by family courts. Additionally, some assets can be difficult to divide as they can have sentimental value.
The Sale and Distribution of Proceeds – In certain cases, a family court will order the sale of an asset and then proceed to divide the proceeds from such sale to be equally given to both parties.
Obtain Proficient Legal Support
Rules regarding property division in the State of California can be very complicated and require rigorous attention to detail. When going through a divorce, it is important to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
The attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP., are have extensive experience in handling property division cases. With many years of dedicated experience in helping families through a divorce or legal separation, the attorneys at RM Law Group, LLP., understand the need for sensitivity through these difficult matters. Personalized services is of utmost important to the firm; consult the right team of attorneys for your property division needs.