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Dealing with property division in a California divorce

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | Divorce

You may have been married for a long time, but once you finally faced the fact that your marriage is over, it is time to start the divorce process.

One of the important aspects of your divorce is property division. This means not only dividing the assets that the two of you have accumulated over the years. It also means the marital debts that you have managed to accumulate since you were married.

Defining property

When considering property and debts, it is important to establish what defines the two so that you have an understanding of what you will be facing.

Property is considered anything that you and your spouse can buy or sell or that has any sort of value attached to it. Some examples of property are a house, furniture or a car. Other types of property are bank accounts, pensions, stocks and a 401(k).

Court order

If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse share an amicable relationship and basically agree to everything with regard to property division, it is still not considered official until a judge creates a formal order. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to appear in court before the judge. The judge can sign off on an agreement that you and your spouse have written together. On the other hand, if you and your spouse are having a difficult time agreeing, the judge may have to step in. In that scenario, you will most likely have to appear in court.

What types of property are there in California?

In California, there are two types of property: separate and community property. Community property is property that you own together during the time that you were married. Separate property is property that you each own individually from before your marriage existed or that one of you inherited or was given as a gift.

There may be times when you are not sure whether a specific property is considered separate or community property. It is important that you know the exact date that you and your spouse separated for the sake of property division.

Protect your rights

If your divorce, and property division in particular, seems complicated, the advice of a California divorce attorney may really make a big difference in your case. It may be helpful to have the experienced advice of your attorney to help you to determine exactly which types of property you are dealing with so that you understand how to divide it (as well as the debts involved). At the same time, your attorney can help you to protect your rights so that you feel that everything came out fair in the end.