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Irvine Property & Asset Division Attorneys

RM Law Group attorneysSecuring a fair division of assets is key in a divorce. What you walk away with will determine your financial stability as you move into your next life stage. By learning more about California divorce law and how the state approaches the division of assets, you’ll be better prepared for negotiations with your spouse.

Looking for the right legal team for your California divorce and division of assets? The team at RM Law Group is here to guide you through this process. Call our Irvine team of property division lawyers at 866-706-3160 or send a contact form to set up a consultation right away.

California’s Laws Regarding Property Division

California is a community property state, one of the biggest factors that may complicate your split. There are only nine community property states in the country; the rest are equitable distribution states.

Community property states divide the property into two different categories: separate and community. Separate property is anything owned by one spouse prior to the marriage or after the date of separation. Community property is considered to be owned by both parties, regardless of who earned it or brought it into the marriage. The court will divide community property and give each spouse half.

Securing a Fair and Equitable Asset Division

For many people, this is the biggest challenge they face during a California divorce. If one spouse contributed more to the marital estate than the other, they may feel entitled to a larger share of the assets—however, that simply isn’t how it works. Unless the divorcing couple agrees to split the assets in another manner, the court will order a 50/50 split. You may also avoid a 50/50 split with a prenuptial agreement.

Types of Assets to Consider

Anything obtained during a marriage that has value can be considered an asset. While preparing for this stage of your divorce, don’t forget to include these assets:

  • Bank accounts
  • Cash on hand
  • Automobiles
  • Real estate
  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Home appliances
  • Pension plans
  • 401k plans
  • Stocks
  • Life insurance with cash value
  • Business shares
  • Antiques and artwork

Issues That May Arise During Division of Assets

A number of issues may arise during the division of assets in California. First, there’s always the possibility that one spouse will attempt to hide assets to avoid losing half of them during the divorce. Until the divorce is finalized, anything owned by both parties is still owned by both parties. This means that even if one spouse clears out a checking account, half of that money still belongs to the other spouse, and they will be forced to pay them back.

If you suspect that your spouse is hiding assets during your divorce, your attorney may bring in a forensic accountant to track down assets and ensure that they are accounted for. This is helpful if your spouse sells or “gives away” assets with the intent of retrieving them after the divorce, attempts to hide cryptocurrency, or tries to hide assets in offshore accounts.

Commingling is another concern that can affect the division of assets in a divorce. As noted earlier, separate property is generally anything brought into the marriage by one party. Separate property can become community property if it is mixed in with community property. Consider, for example, one spouse’s checking account. If they came into the marriage with a $100,000 checking account, kept it separate during the marriage, and never used it for marital expenses, that money would still be considered theirs. But if they started using that account to deposit both spouses’ paychecks, pay marital bills, and deposit marital funds, that money would be considered commingled. The entire account may then be subject to division.

Finally, dividing retirement accounts and pensions can be challenging. Simply transferring funds to a spouse can result in heavy taxes and penalties, which is why many accounts require a QDRO before they can be divided. If you have complex retirement accounts, stock options, or other assets to divide, it’s important to work with an Irvine attorney who can help you avoid unnecessary penalties and taxes.

Why You Should Choose RM Law Group

At RM Law Group, we understand how important this part of your divorce is. The assets you keep lay the foundation for your new life, and you deserve your fair share. We’ll advocate for you every step of the way, ensuring that your separate property is kept separate and that you get your fair share of the community property. If you have other issues, such as hidden assets or a spouse who has drained your financial accounts, we will fight to get you what you deserve.

Reach Out Today—We’re Here to Help

Are you ready to discuss your legal options and start your divorce case? Schedule your free consultation now by calling us at 866-706-3160 or contacting our team online.