In California divorce proceedings, some of the questions most frequently asked by our clients involve alimony and property division. California is a community property state, meaning that the court divides marital property equally, generally speaking. We understand that these questions are very pressing for many of our clients. These are among the issues that affect your future after your divorce. Today’s blog post is written to answer some of those questions and to serve as a resource for individuals facing, contemplating, or going through divorce.
How Does a Marital Property Division Lawyer Help?
Together, for however long you and your spouse were married, you built a life together. This involved mutual sacrifice and effort, to whatever degree those sacrifices and expenditures occurred. Your husband or wife may have put his / her career aside and stayed home to watch your children and / or keep order in the home. Or he / she may have main financial earner for the family. In dividing the assets and property involved in a marriage, both parties’ contributions must be taken into account.
It is important to have a good attorney on your side as you go through this process. Our team at Gille Law Group can provide key advocacy and strategic representation for your case. We are family law attorneys based in Pasadena. We understand the unique standards of California family law and the nuances involved in an equitable divorce proceeding. We are here to protect your rights and your future as you go through marriage dissolution. Don’t trust the court or your spouse to take care of you. Make sure you are well represented by a certified family law expert from our team.
California Is a Community Property State
Along with Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin, the state of California is a community property state. This means that equitable distribution is the standard. In order words, where possible, both the assets and the obligations incurred in a marriage are subject to an even, 50 / 50 division in a divorce.
Certain factors will be taken into account by your California family law court, such as:
- How long the marriage lasted
- Each party’s income capacity
- Child custody arrangements
In an Amicable Divorce, Do We Have to Split Property 50 / 50?
No, if you and your spouse have completely and without hindrance agreed to every aspect of your divorce arrangements, you can make other arrangements. Marital property can be divided as per the wishes of the couple in an uncontested divorce. For example, one spouse may wish to retain less than 50% of the marital property. Remember, however, that your final divorce agreement will need to be approved by the court. The court will most likely agree, except in cases where the arrangement is perceived as grossly unreasonable or unfair.
What About Debts?
Debts or “obligations” must also be divided equitably in divorce. Just as you and your spouse built wealth together, you may have also accumulated obligations along the way. The court will divide these equally.
I owned some assets before I was married. Will these be divided?
No. Your personal property that you owned prior to marriage is not eligible for division. This is considered “separate property.” The court will only divide marital property 50 / 50. If, however, your spouse contributed in some way to the value of your separate property during the marriage, this could be an issue the court will look at.