What is community property in a North County divorce? California is known as a “Community Property” state in terms of how marital property is characterized and ultimately divided during a North County or Carlsbad divorce. In California, the spouses are entitled to equal and undivided interest in all “marital property.” Community property refers to property you or your spouse obtained as well as any debts either or both of you acquired from the date of your marriage to the date of separation.
There are a few exceptions to the community property rule including many properly structured and executed outside gifts and inheritances. These separate financial events must be kept distinctly separate from marital assets or they may become partially or fully community property.
“Separate property” refers to assets, real estate, business ownership, bank and investment accounts, trusts and other assets you had prior to entering into the marriage. The question of whether or not a “separate” asset can become partially or entirely “community property” is a complex legal determination based upon the actions of the parties and the use of marital funds. For example, one of the spouses may own a rental home before the marriage. However, if marital funds are used for maintenance on the property or to pay the mortgage in times of vacancy the commingled funds would affect the “separate” value of what has become at least partially a “community” asset.
Divorcing spouses are entitled to one-half of the community property in a North County divorce as well as one-half of any community property interest in your spouse’s separate property.
These issues require an experienced Carlsbad divorce and family law attorney, especially when a business or professional practice is involved. The proven Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq have decades of experience in Carlsbad divorce cases. We advise our clients on all matters and aspects of the divorce including community and separate property issues, business and asset valuation and the calculation of a community’s interest in separate property.