California’s divorce and community property matters are complex, but they can be easier to understand after reviewing our California community property law handbook. California is one of a handful of community property states, and as family law attorney Bruce A. Mandel knows, property division matters are often contentious between divorcing spouses.
If you are considering divorce in California, it is important to understand how your debts and assets will be divided. Keep reading for a quick guide to California community property law and how different factors and circumstances may impact property division decisions in your divorce.
Determining Community Property
With some exceptions, all real or personal property acquired during your marriage while living in California is considered to be community property. In general, community property is to be divided equally between divorcing spouses.
Determining community property is not always as easy as it may seem, however, because divorcing spouses often disagree as to whether or not specific property is jointly or separately owned. Some property matters, such as educational degrees acquired during the marriage, pensions, and 401ks, can complicate matters even further.
Usually, property that is classified as separate property remains with one spouse and is not a part of property division decisions. Property owned prior to marriage or acquired during marriage by inheritance or gift is typically considered to be separate property.
Separate property also includes any property or assets acquired after the date of separation. For this reason, the date of marital separation is very important when it comes to matters of property division in California.
Commingling Separate Property
Property that starts off as separate property does not always remain separate property. If you or your spouse commingle separate property with jointly owned property, it can be difficult to trace the separate property, complicating property division matters.
Impact Of Marital Agreements On Property Division
Valid prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may impact your rights under California’s property division law. People often enter into these marital agreements that set forth divorce terms, including property division matters. California courts recognize marital agreements and will apply contract terms to property division orders so long as the agreements comply with California law, and they were not entered into under fraud, undue influence, or duress.
California Community Property Attorney
Community property laws in California are complicated, and if you and your spouse disagree about property division terms, you need a skilled divorce attorney representing your interests and protecting your rights. If you have questions about community property laws or any other divorce matter, we can help. California family law attorney Bruce A. Mandel has dedicated almost three decades to representing clients in divorce proceedings.
Contact our office at 424-250-9130 or online to schedule a free consultation. We know that you may not have been prepared for divorce and all of the complications that come with it, but we have the experience and knowledge to provide you with the highest quality legal representation.
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