Property Division FAQ
When married couples get divorced (or when domestic partners separate), they need to reach an agreement or court order concerning how their assets will be divided. Each state has different laws concerning property division after divorce. Our Roseville divorce attorney at the Law Offices of Frank F. Ali has listed some of the most frequently asked questions regarding property division, as well as their answers.
How does California differentiate between community property and separate property?
California is a community property state, meaning that it recognizes the concept of community property in marriage. This is a concept that stipulates that all property acquired by a couple during the marriage or domestic partnership is considered as belonging to both individuals. This means that even if one spouse earned the income, that income is considered as belonging to both spouses if it was earned during the marriage. Individuals can also obtain community debt using the same standards.
In contrast, anything a spouse owned before or after the marriage or partnership is considered separate property. Furthermore, separate property can also include any gifts or inheritance that was given to only one spouse or domestic partner, any proceeds earned from selling separate property, and anything that was purchased using separate property—even when this occurs during the marriage or partnership.
How is property divided after divorce in the state of California?
In the state of California, each spouse in a marriage legally owns half of the community property and the community debt. For this reason, the community property and debt will usually be divided equally in the event of a divorce or the end of a domestic partnership. This requires first separating community property from separate property.
What qualifies as "property" in the asset division process?
When it comes to the division of assets after divorce, "property" is considered anything that you or your spouse owns that can be purchased or sold, or that has value. A few examples include real estate property, vehicles, furniture, cash, bank accounts and retirement savings accounts.
Can my spouse and I come to an informal agreement about how to divide our assets?
You and your spouse or domestic partner can come to your own agreement concerning your property and debt division, but you will need to have a judge sign off on it so it can become an official court order. Without a court order, you and the other party will still both legally be considered the owners of the property or debt, which can lead to complications in the future.
What if I or my spouse signed a prenuptial agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is a legally binding document that can majorly change the way your property is divided after divorce. A knowledgeable Roseville divorce lawyer will be able to review the terms of your agreement and help you understand your rights and obligations under the document.
Do you have more questions about the division of your assets after divorce? Contact us so that we can sit down with you, discuss the specific details of your case and provide you with answers to your questions.