Splitting assets in a divorce proceeding can be different in each state. Splitting assets in a California divorce proceeding requires that both spouses understand the concepts of community property and separate property law.
Community Property Law
California Family Code Section 760 defines community property as “…all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state.”
This is intended to be a broad definition because the state has also enacted other statutes that both expand and limit whether real property (residential or commercial real estate or land) or personal property (anything that is not considered real property) is community or not, depending on the specific facts surrounding the case. In general, California law requires that community property be divided 50-50.
Separate Property Law
California law defines separate property of a married individual as any of the following:
- Any property owned by the individual prior to marriage
- Any 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
Similar to community property, the definition of separate property is also broad. Separate property can have a community property component to it and visa versa.
The Exception To The Rule
Like most rules and regulations, there are exceptions to the concepts of separate and community property during a divorce proceeding, which can get complex enough to nearly swallow the rule.
Anything that is real or personal property can be considered an asset and subject to splitting during a divorce proceeding. Three issues that commonly arise when dividing assets in a California divorce 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
The bottom line is that divorce proceedings can be very complicated, especially when they involve many different assets that can be described as either separate property or community property by one of the spouses. This is particularly the reason why you need the legal guidance of an experienced Fresno family law attorney. It doesn’t matter whether you are the husband or the wife or which side of the issues you are on – you need an experienced attorney on your side who knows the law and has handled cases similar to yours.
Call an Experienced Fresno 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 Fresno family law attorney Gurjit Srai, please call (209) 323-5558 or (559) 449-1447, or complete our online form.