Many people believe community property is split right down the middle between divorcing parties in San Diego. This isn’t the case and California Family Law doesn’t specify a 50/50 split. What does a fair property division solution look like in a San Diego divorce? How do the concepts of “fair” and “equal” apply in these cases?
Community property in California means all assets and debts acquired by either or both of the parties from the date of the marriage to the date of separation are considered to be “community” property (with few exceptions). The spouses are presumed to have equally shared the experience of and contributed to the marriage. Therefore, each has an equal “ownership” of the asset or debt and these are to be divided equally between the couple. “Equal” in this context means as close to evenly as possible unless the parties agree upon another arrangement. If the couple wishes to negotiate their own fair property settlement the Court must still review it and ultimately approve it.
For example, if one of the spouse’s wants to keep the family home and there is an existing equity of $150,000 in the home, that spouse would need to offset the home’s equity with roughly $150,000 worth of other community assets.
A fair property division plan is often designed to balance iniquities between the parties. For example, if one former spouse is a high wage earner and the other left their career to raise children there is a disparity in the potential for income and cost of living between the parties going forward. It is not unusual in these cases for the lesser earning spouse to seek an additional portion of community property to enhance financial viability for the future. Of course, these decisions can also have an impact upon issues such as spousal support.
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may override the presumption of whether an asset is community property or separate property of one of the spouses. Every couple has their own perception of what is “fair” or “equal.” This is why it is important to seek the experienced, proven counsel of the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. We provide sound advice as you negotiate property division. We represent our clients in mediation and work to help our clients to work toward an agreed upon solution which accomplishes their goals. If the parties are unable to reach a fair property division plan the Court will ultimately make the final decision on the division of marital assets and debts.
Protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a remote or socially distanced consultation with one of our experienced Certified Family Law Specialists.