Division of property is the most complicated and difficult issue in marital breakdown, especially, in cases when the couple has to distribute mutually held marital property. In California, property (and debt) acquired during the marriage is equally divided. While distribution of property may sound simple, the process can get complicated especially when the spouses cannot come to an agreement on their own, at which point the judge will determine how marital property like house, car(s), retirement plans, etc. will be distributed.
It does not matter who distributed your property- you yourself or the court did it for you, there are three crucial steps you need to keep in mind to determine the property distribution. They are-
1. Determine whether the property (or debt) is marital or separate,
2. Agree on a value for marital property, and
3. Decide how to divide the property.
California is a community property state. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property- real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property. Separate property is not included in the division of the community estate.
The separate property of a married person includes all of the following:
(a) All property owned by the person before marriage,
(b) All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, or descent,
(c) The rents, issues, and profits of the property, and
(d) The earnings and accumulations of a spouse and the minor children living with, or in the custody of, the spouse, while living separate and apart from the other spouse.
The rules for what is and is not separate property or community property are not always clear. Community property can have a separate property component to it and vice versa. Community property can become separate property and vice versa through a process called transmutation if both spouses agree to it and comply with the legal formalities. Like many rules in divorce and family law, there are exceptions to them and sometimes the exceptions can be complicated enough to nearly swallow the rule.
Below is the list of the type of assets that can be accounted for distribution in property division in divorce cases are:
1. Family home
2. Commercial real estate
4. Rental property
5. Furniture, furnishings and appliances
6. Jewelry, art, coins and collectibles
7. Bank accounts
8. Stock and investment accounts
9. 401 (k), pensions or other retirement accounts
10. Business and partnership interests
11. Life insurance policies
14.Patents, copyrights and trademarks.
In short, anything that is real or personal property, no matter where it is located, can become an asset subject to division in a Californian divorce case. And since California is a “Community Property” state, all marital property will be divided in a 50-50 fashion according to the court unless agreed to otherwise by the divorcing spouses.
Therefore, learn more about the legal issues surrounding the division of property & debts in a California divorce, and the process for distributing those assets between spouses from a legal expert. Law Offices Rick D. Banks can stand by your side and best assist you in the determination and distribution of assets in a fair and equitable manner. So set aside your hesitation and confusion when the best Fresno Lawyer is 24/7 at your service.