Property and Asset Division

Family Law Del Mar Attorney Steven Lorber on the nature of property in California:

“The family law code provides that all property, real and personal, acquired during a marriage and any income earned by a spouse is considered community property.”

While the code definition is clear about what community property is, the function of how property is divided once a marriage or partnership ends is far more complicated.

Separate property is personal and real property acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage, or any gifts or inheritance. Separate property also includes any rent or income produced by separate property and property acquired after the date of separation.

Division of assets requires a meticulous attention to detail and open dialogue between the client and family law attorney. Family Law Del Mar takes the same approach to every divorce client, we want a full disclosure and honest understanding of expectations.

General Community Property presumption is a standard of law in California that requires a court to assume that any assets acquired by either spouse or partner during a marriage belong to the community. When a marriage or domestic partnership is ended what must be divided is referred to as the community. The community is that collection of personal and real property to which each spouse has a claim of ownership.

Family Law Attorney George Gedulin offers this insight on property acquired during a marriage: “One of the most common issues for our family law clients is a property purchased by a spouse during the marriage and titled in their name only. The law is clear that if title is held in one spouses name and never transferred to the other spouse during the marriage, this will be considered separate property. However, if one spouse contributes financially to the upkeep of the property or pays towards any loan balance there is a right to be reimbursed for these expenses.”

Family Law Mediation for clients with substantial assets is often the preferred approach due to the complexity of California divorce law. The time when a property is actually acquired, or when a spouse receives benefits from a property are often points of significant debate. Seeking to decide these issues in a family law court can be costly and often leaves both sides unsatisfied. Mediation Family Law is a powerful method to not only get an ideal resolution for a divorce, but also can be significantly cheaper for the client.

Quasi Community Property is a unique aspect of family law which involves property acquired during a marriage but while a spouse was domiciled outside of California.

Property Acquired while domiciled in another state
Family Law Del Mar helps many clients who have acquired assets during a marriage while domiciled (living in) another state. Simply purchasing assets like real or personal property in another state does not mean you were domiciled there. To be domiciled in another state you must meet that states domicile laws. For example if you were married for 20 years and lived for 2 years in Colorado, any assets purchased in Colorado such as cars, boats or real property could be subject to Colorado’s laws and not California’s.