California Is A Community Property State. What Does This Mean For Your Divorce?
Family law judges expect to see an equitable distribution of assets between spouses in a California divorce. This is the bottom line in a community property state. It does not mean that all assets will be divided 50-50. Naturally, some assets, such as homes, cannot literally be divided in two, so valuations and exchanges will be necessary.
Ideally, you and your spouse can collaborate and negotiate a fair settlement before taking your case before a judge. If not, a judge and/or jury may make decisions that will affect your financial status for years to come.
At Law Offices of Aaron C. Smith, our attorneys take their role seriously as advocates for our clients. You can expect him to recommend methods of property division that are in your best interests. We will represent you vigorously through negotiations, collaborative law methods, mediation or a trial.
Property To Be Divided And Things To Keep In Mind
Property division applies to marital assets owned by both of you. If you owned something before you married or if you inherited property, those separate assets should remain yours. Exceptions may apply in your case; ask an attorney for guidance.
After your divorce, you and your spouse will walk away as single people with separate ownership of assets that you now share, including:
- Bank accounts and other funds
- Business interests
- Stocks, stock options, bonds and retirement accounts
- Anticipated future assets, such as commissions and executive remuneration
- Real estate and related assets, such as timeshares
- Personal property, including vehicles, recreational equipment and the contents of your home
- Collectibles, tools of the trade and other objects of value
Remember: Fighting for the sake of fighting may feel cathartic, but it can be damaging to your overall financial health. You may spend more on legal fees that you stand to gain by fighting to keep certain assets. To protect your share of the marital estate, you should avoid unnecessary legal wrangling whenever possible and focus on the bottom line that you will live with after the divorce is complete.
Prepare For Property Division In Your High-Asset Or Typical Divorce
Even if divorce is only theoretical at this point, it is never too soon for divorce planning with a knowledgeable family law attorney. We can help you identify marital property and weigh your options before the need is urgent.
Contact Law Offices of Aaron C. Smith by phone at 760-974-8605 or by email through our online inquiry form to schedule a free consultation about property division and spousal maintenance in your coming divorce.