What is commingled property in a San Diego divorce and how does that affect the division of community property? One of the most complex issues in almost any divorce is the division of assets and debts. People have strong feelings about specific property as well as money. One of the first concepts you will come to understand in your divorce is the concept of community property versus separate property. These concepts will have a substantial impact on the outcome of your case.
Community property is generally defined as any asset or debt acquired by either or both of the parties from the date of the marriage to the date of separation. While there are a few exceptions to this (such as personal injury settlements or properly structured inheritances) community property must be fairly divided between the parties.
If either party had a debt (such as student loans) or owned an asset such as a house or business prior to the marriage or after the date of separation and did not use marital assets, labor or money toward that asset it will be considered to be the separate property of that spouse.
The separation of community property from separate property can be quite complex and is not the focus of this post. The question at hand is what happens when marital funds, efforts or assets are used to support what would otherwise be the separate asset of one of the parties? Commingled property in a San Diego divorce occurs when separate assets become intertwined with marital assets.
For example, let’s consider a spouse who owns a house prior to the marriage. Perhaps the spouse rented out this property after the marriage and the house now needs repair. Perhaps it took a substantial amount of time to replace a tenant and marital funds were used to either pay the mortgage or make repairs. Once marital funds are used to support a separate assets it is considered to be commingled property in a San Diego divorce.
There are many ways for something which would otherwise be considered to be “separate” property to be commingled with marital funds, labor or assets. If the Court considers any portion of an otherwise separate asset to be commingled the Judge must determine the value of the marital interest in that asset and ensure it is properly divided as part of the property settlement in your divorce.
Commingled property in a San Diego divorce can represent a substantial amount of financial interest to either or both of the parties. If you are concerned about the nature of assets or debts during a divorce in San Diego you need the experienced, proven advice and counsel of the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.