How are sets Divided in a California Divorce?
If you are considering filing for divorce in California, it is important to understand that your assets will be divided differently here than in many other states across the country. California is one of the few states that divides property according to community property methods instead of by equitable distribution. Knowing the difference and how it may affect your divorce settlement can have a substantial impact on your case. It is important that you hire only the best of California divorce attorneys to represent your interests. Call the office or contact us at Kearney Baker today to schedule a free consultation of your California divorce now.
California Community Property Rules
In a community property state, marital assets are divided equally, 50/50, between spouses. This differs from equitable division states, which require marital assets to be split equitably, but not necessarily equally. Dividing community property assets equally does not mean that every item is split in half. Each spouse can retain different assets that in total have an equal value. If there is one large asset, such as a primary residence, that will tip the balance in one way or the other, it may require the selling of that asset and distribution of the proceeds to both spouses. Marital assets include the home, bank accounts, personal property, retirement accounts, investments, and more. Some marital assets can come with hidden costs, such as the property taxes or mortgage payments on a home, but having an experienced California divorce attorney by your side can help you avoid the pitfalls of community property distribution.
Marital, Separate, and Commingled Property
It is important to note that in California, only the marital assets are split equally between spouses. All property that was acquired prior to the marriage is considered separate property and does not fall under the rules of community property distribution. Each spouse retains the separate property he or she owned prior to the marriage. All property that was acquired during the course of the marriage is considered marital property and subject to community property laws in California.
The only exception to this rule is commingled property. Commingled property begins as the separate property of one spouse but is commingled with marital assets through payments, improvements, rehabilitation, or other use of marital funds. The most common example of commingled property is when one spouse owns a home that the couple lives in and improves or pays on after the wedding. Commingled property is considered the same as marital property and is therefore subject to the 50/50 split rules of community property states. Many asset splits in divorce cases in California can change substantially based on whether certain assets are termed as separate or commingled property.
Call Our Office Now
Having a highly qualified California divorce attorney can make a critical difference in the splitting of assets in your divorce case. To learn more about your legal options, call or contact the Pasadena law office of Kearney Baker today to schedule a free consultation of your divorce case with an expert in California community property law.