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Property Characterization And Division Representation

What is property characterization and division in a divorce? Aside from child custody and parenting time, one source of dispute in California divorce cases is how property, assets and debts will be divided between the parties. California law stipulates that property acquired during a marriage is to be divided equally – not just “fairly” or “equitably” – and before property division can take place, property characterization must be completed.

At Burke & Domercq, APC, we have the proven ability and resources to resolve disputed property issues in our clients’ best interests. We can help you pursue an asset division goal that reflects your needs in your divorce.

Experienced, Diligent Property Division Lawyers

Essentially, property characterization establishes if specific funds and assets qualify as either community or separate property. This step is prone to challenges. The final decision of what type of property an asset is depends on when it was acquired in relation to the marriage date and the sources of funds used to acquire that property. Exceptions include gifts and inheritances, and many disputes involve the valuation of complex assets or comingled assets.

With decades of experience in contested, high-asset divorce cases, our Carlsbad property characterization lawyers are exceptionally prepared to address:

  • Determining the nature of an asset’s acquisition
  • Developing fair and accurate valuations for businesses and professional practices, real estate, special collections and other complex assets
  • Seeking reimbursement for certain assets

How are property and assets to be divided in a divorce?

The community assets and debts of the parties are to be divided equally between them.

What constitutes community property?

Any asset or debt which is incurred or acquired by either party or both from the date of their marriage to the date of separation is to be considered community property.

What is separate property in a divorce?

Any asset, debt or account which was owned by either party prior to the marriage and kept completely separate from the funds and accounts of the community should be considered separate property. This also applies to properly structured inheritances and other family-related gifts.

Are retirement accounts and pensions part of community property?

Yes, generally speaking, all contributions to retirement or pensions or the growth of the account(s) during the course of the marriage are usually considered to be community property. Community property must be divided equally between the parties.

Count On Exceptional Preparation

Your concerns may center on whether a specific property may need to be sold and the proceeds divided. You may be focused on keeping a specific asset or maintaining a viable business. Issues of spousal support may also be in play. The nuances of divorce negotiations and litigation of financial issues are familiar territory for our attorneys, and we call upon a strong network of other qualified professionals as needed.

We emphasize informed, practical counsel and the accomplishment of clients’ goals in all we do. For the property characterization and division guidance you need in this pivotal time, we encourage you to contact our firm online or call 760-389-3927 to schedule a productive, discreet consultation.