In a divorce, a couple must divide their assets. Depending on the state that they live in, it will be done in one of two ways. California is a community property state, which means everything you and your spouse earned or purchased while you were in the marriage belongs to both of you equally.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you will have to split everything 50/50.
What Is the California Community Property Law?
California community property law applies to both assets and debts that were acquired during the marriage. Marital assets may be divided in a number of ways, depending on the nature of the assets and the wishes of each spouse. For example, a home purchased during the marriage may be sold and the proceeds split, or one party may retain the home and pay the other with the equity.
Some examples of marital property may include:
- Assets you’ve purchased, like cars and your family home
- Bank accounts
- Both of your pensions and employment benefits
- Investments you’ve contributed to or earned money from
- Professional practices and businesses
Additionally, marital debts must be divided during the divorce process. This includes mortgages, car loans, credit cards, personal loans, and any other costs that may have been incurred during the marriage.
Separate vs. Community Property
Separate property belongs to each of you individually, and you won’t have to divide it as part of your divorce settlement. That is because separate property is considered assets that you brought into the marriage, gifts intended only for you, and inheritances.
Sometimes the lines get a little bit blurred between community property and separate property, and that’s where your lawyer comes in. At Dan McCandless Law, our attorney can provide guidance concerning your financial situation, valuing assets, and other divorce goals. With in-depth knowledge from working in the financial industry, he offers a unique perspective to his clients during the process of dividing assets and debts.
Contact Dan McCandless Law today at (858) 266-9171 to schedule your consultation.