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Characterization and Division of Community Property in a Divorce

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2020 | Community Property Division

Who is going to get the house in your Carlsbad divorce? What about the living room furniture or the vacation home you have out-of-state? The characterization and division of community property in a divorce is one of the primary issues associated with the completion of any divorce.

What is community property? Community property in California refers to all assets, financial accounts, bank accounts, business interests, investments, real property, personal property, vehicles, and other belongings which are acquired during the course of a marriage.

There are some exclusions to “community property” which include those assets either party fully owned separately before the marriage occurred, as well as any specific gift or inheritance which was passed on to one of the spouses during the course of the marriage.  These assets are considered to be “separate property.”  This designation also applies to any interest, profits or other assets which were derived solely through the “separate property” of either former spouse.

In many cases there may be an issue of “commingling.” For example, if one of the parties owned a rental property prior to the marriage and kept all rental income, repairs, taxes and payments separate from the marital accounts the asset would remain the “separate” property of that party. However, if marital funds were used at any point to make the mortgage payments or to pay for repairs or updates the rental property would be considered a “commingled” asset.

When assets have been commingled it will be necessary to determine the portion of the asset which remains “separate” in value, and the portion which has become a “community” asset due to the use of marital funds.

The characterization and division of community property in a divorce can become quite legally complex. It is important to seek the advice of the experienced Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. Our attorneys have represented clients in divorce cases here in Carlsbad for decades. This extensive experience informs the sound advice we provide to our clients, as well as the actions we take to protect the interests of our clients.

If you are considering a divorce in North County or Carlsbad and own a business or are concerned about the nature of “community” or “separate” property and how it will be divided we invite you to contact us or call 760-389-3927 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced lawyers.