One of the most important aspects of divorce proceedings is the splitting of the marital property or assets. Dividing assets in a divorce proceeding is different in each state. California divorce laws can be complicated and hard to understand. In order to fairly divide assets in a divorce, both spouses must fully understand the concepts of community property and separate property law.
What is Community Property?
According to California Family Code Section 760, community property is defined as “…all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state.”
The state legislature intentionally broadly defined community property because there are other statutes that both expand and limit the concept. For example, whether real property (residential or commercial real estate or land) or personal property (anything that is not considered real property) is community or not, depends on the specific facts surrounding the case. In general, California law requires that community property be divided 50-50.
Separate Property Law
According to California law, separate property consists of any of the following:
- Property owned by the individual prior to marriage
- Property acquired by the individual post marriage by a gift, bequest, devise, or descent
- All rents, issues, and profits of anything that is considered to be separate property
- All 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
Just like community property, the legislature broadly defined separate property. Separate property can also include community property components, and visa versa.
There Are Always Exceptions To The Rule
The laws have provided some exceptions to the concepts of separate and community property during a divorce proceeding.
One major exception to the rule is that anything that is real or personal property can be considered an asset and subject to splitting during a divorce proceeding. Three situations that come up during the division of marital assets in a divorce proceeding include:
- Title to property that is held only in one spouse’s name
- Commingling of community property and separate property
- Splitting a business during a California divorce proceeding
If any of these situations is not properly handled by an experienced Stockton family law attorney, it can significantly impact your life after the divorce. Your family law attorney’s job is to make sure that all assets are fairly divided and your rights are well protected throughout the divorce.
Call an Experienced Stockton Family Law Attorney
If you are involved in a divorce proceeding or planning to file for divorce, it is in your best interest to consult with an experienced family law attorney to help you learn your legal rights and options with respect to the division of your assets.
For more information or to schedule a complimentary consultation with Stockton family law attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.