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Dividing Community Property in a California Divorce

Posted on in Property Division

San Jose property division divorce lawyerThe divorce process can prove to be one of the most financially and emotionally confusing times in a person’s life. The shock that comes with the end of a relationship can bring out the worst level of anger in both parties. Both spouses may have a difficult time figuring out what assets are considered community property and how to divide this property between them. However, the divorce process can be completed more smoothly if spouses work together to determine how their assets should be appropriately divided.

What Is Property?

Property is defined as anything of value that can be bought or sold. A house, cars, clothes, and furniture could be considered property in the State of California. The following could also be considered property and assets:

  • Financial accounts;
  • A business;
  • Stocks and bonds;
  • 401(k) plans;
  • Pension plans;
  • Life insurance with cash value;
  • Security deposits on apartments; and 
  • Patents.

Who Gets What Property?

California is a community property state, which means that all assets and debts acquired during marriage must be divided equally between divorcing spouses. The best way to begin the property division process is to create a list of all assets, and to make sure everything of value is included on that list. Each spouse will then need to decide which assets are separate property or community property and determine the fair market value of each asset. Completing a list of property will help spouses correctly fill out a Schedule of Assets and Debts, which both parties will need to exchange as part of their financial declarations.

Each spouse must honestly indicate all assets and debts when exchanging financial information. If either spouse hides certain assets, then serious consequences may follow. Even though there are still many incidents in which spouses attempt to hide assets in divorce cases, technology has made the discovery of hidden assets much easier than ever before. The use of smartphones and social media can often help uncover any communications that either spouse has had with other parties in terms of their assets.

Call a San Jose, CA Divorce Lawyer

Going through the process of divorce is never pleasant, but there are ways to make the experience easier. While community property must be divided equally between spouses, this does not mean that everything should be divided in half. Rather, the value of the assets and debts assigned to each spouse should be equal. 

If need help determining how to divide property in your divorce, Dominion Law Group, LLP is ready to assist you in your case. Attorney Kevin Hutcheson has over 28 years of experience in family law and divorce, so you are guaranteed skilled legal representation. To schedule a free initial consultation, please call a Santa Clara County divorce attorney at 408-288-5592 for assistance with your property division needs.

Sources:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304356604577337743171120240

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1254.htm

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1039.htm

Over 25 Years of Experience Alliance Defending Freedom The State Bar of California Santa Clara County Bar Association
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