During a divorce, the couple is responsible for dividing their acquired properties and assets in the state of California. Specifically, the property that is obtained during a marriage is referred to as community property. According to our division of assets attorneys, there is a strong legal basis in California law that specifies that community property must be distributed equally between both parties. Ultimately, the process of dividing community property depends on the willingness of two former spouses to work together. As you can imagine, there are usually some disagreement and issues that may require the court’s intervention to resolve.
What Exactly Counts as Community Property in California?
California law establishes that community property is the property and assets that are accumulated throughout a marriage. The law does not specifically state that the person who bought most of the assets deserves to be entitled to receive these assets. Therefore, in the process of divorce proceedings, the couple with have to agree to properly divide their assets among themselves. Common forms of community properties are real estate, vehicles, electronics, furniture, and even pets.
However, there are some assets that are not considered to be community property. Inheritances or any assets obtained after the date of separation is referred to as separate property. Separate property, under California law, is designated to be received by its owner after the finalization of a divorce.
In order to avoid a dispute, the individual that claims to possess separate party must provide the court with suitable financial documentation that proves their case, especially if the couple cannot agree on the legitimacy of these claims.
There is a Three Step Process
During divorce proceedings, a couple will be tasked with dividing their community property. There is actually a three-step process of successfully completing this task. First, the couple will have to identify the joint assets that are community property and the sole assets that are separate property. If an issue arises over these decisions, this matter can be brought to court, and an arbitrator will make a decision on which assets fall into a specific category.
Next, the couple will have to work with a division of assets lawyer to determine the value for the community property. In order to receive a financial benefit for certain community properties, the couple will have to provide some financial documentation that establishes the value of specific community properties in the state of California. Once this task has been done, the couple can finally move on to the next step, which is property division.
After the marital assets have been identified and valued, the couple can then take control on equal shares of these properties. After this is finished, this dispute can formally be closed by the court, in the event that no issues take place.
Community Property Can Become Separate
At the discretion of the divorcing couple, community property acquired during a marriage can be forfeited as separate property if both former spouses agree to do so. Therefore, it’s possible for a spouse to take complete control of a joint asset if an agreement is reached.