As a divorce lawyer, I help people dealing with complex property and debt issues. Division of property and debts in a California divorce are intricate matters. It is essential to have knowledgeable legal counsel from an attorney who is prepared to protect your rights.
Whether you both agree on dividing assets and debts or you expect a tough battle over community property, a family business, or a pension, please contact the Law Offices of Silky Sahnan at 888-228-1098.
Even in amicable property distribution, the financial impact can be deep and unexpected consequences can emerge over time. I will work toward a property agreement that will protect your interests as you move forward after your divorce. As necessary, I will provide capable representation in court regarding a property settlement.
With proven representation from a Contra Costa County divorce lawyer, you can be confident in a fair and balanced property and debt division agreement.
Division of Property Laws in California Divorce
California law requires that you give your spouse or domestic partner information about your individual income and expenses, the property you own, and obligations you owe – even if you do not own anything or owe any money! This is called “disclosure.”
When filing for a family law case you must complete a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure. You must complete this Disclosure before the court will finalize your divorce, legal separation, or annulment.
California is a community property state.
This means that all property acquired during marriage or a registered domestic partnership is community property and owned by each spouse or domestic partner.
Generally, community property consists of any property acquired by either spouse or domestic partner during the union. Community property will be divided equally. Any property possessed by either spouse or partner during the marriage is presumed to be community property unless it can be shown that the property is actually separate property.
Dividing Assets and Debts in a California Divorce
Very generally, here are the rules for determining what assets are community property and what assets are not.
Community property includes:
- All earnings acquired and accumulated during the marriage or domestic partnership and everything acquired with those earnings
- All debts incurred by either party during marriage or domestic partnership
Separate property of one spouse or domestic partner includes:
- Gifts and inheritances given just to that spouse or domestic partner
- Personal injury awards received by that spouse or domestic partner
- The proceeds of a pension that vested (that is, the pensioner became legally entitled to receive the pension payment) before the marriage or domestic partnership
- Property purchased with the separate funds of a spouse or domestic partner
Property that may be a combination of community property and separate property:
- A business owned by one spouse or domestic partner before the marriage remains his or her separate property during the union. However, a portion of the business may be considered community property if the business increased in value during the marriage or if both spouses or partners worked to support the business.
- Property purchased with a combination of community assets and separate assets is part community property and part separate property so long as a spouse or domestic partner is able to show that some separate funds or assets were used to acquire the property. Community property combined with separate property generally becomes community property.
Speak with a California Division of Property Attorney
Contact our firm today to arrange a confidential discussion about your family law case. The professionals at the Law Offices of Silky Sahnan will help ensure that your rights are protected throughout all aspects of sorting out community property, separate property, co-mingled property, as well as marital debts.