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Property Division Representation From A Carlsbad Divorce Lawyer

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 Carlsbad 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.

Can separate property be commingled with community property?

Yes. In California, separate property can be merged with community property mainly through joint use or financial transactions during marriage.

What does that mean? Well, commingling can complicate property division during divorce proceedings. In some cases, it may no longer be possible to tell marital property and separate property apart.

Can experts help make it easier to divide complex assets?

A skilled Carlsbad divorce lawyer can work with specialists to maneuver the complexities of dividing assets. For example, they can engage:

  • Forensic accountants to conduct detailed analyses, potentially uncovering any hidden assets or income discrepancies
  • Tax advisers to determine how taxation will ultimately affect the value of certain assets if they’re sold or divided
  • Business valuation experts to help determine the fair market value of businesses, ensuring accurate assessment for equitable distribution

This approach helps attorneys interpret relevant laws accurately, ensuring a comprehensive approach that protects the client’s interests and secures a fair outcome.

How do mediation or collaborative divorce processes help resolve property division issues?

Mediation and collaboration promote open communication and cooperation between spouses, fostering a less competitive environment than traditional litigation.

Also, these processes result in quicker and more cost-effective resolutions, as they avoid the lengthy court battles associated with litigation.

Is a business that was started during the marriage marital property in California?

A business established during a marriage in California is considered community property. Both spouses have equal ownership rights – unless there is a postnuptial agreement that carves out the business as one spouse’s separate property.

Is a “supported spouse” treated differently during the property division process?

Special considerations may arise for the supported spouse in the division of property in a divorce. They include:

  • A fair and sufficient portion to maintain their standard of living post-divorce
  • Contributions made by the supported spouse to the marriage, like homemaking, child care or support in advancing the other spouse’s career
  • Addressing potential differences in earning capacity or financial resources between the spouses

The supported spouse may be entitled to spousal support payments (alimony) to help bridge any financial gaps and facilitate their transition to a single life.

Count On Exceptional Preparation From A Carlsbad Divorce Attorney

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.