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How is Marital Property Divided In California?

Posted on : August 13, 2018, By:  Grace Chang
Pasadena Divorce Lawyer, Grace Lea Chang

Those couples that are going through a divorce in California need to be prepared with the division of property and debt, as this is an important component of what their life will look like after the divorce is final.  You must be prepared to determine how to divide your debts and property or ask the court to do it for you.  Whether or not you handle this on your own or the court does it on your behalf, there are three critical steps of the division of property process, including determining whether debt or property is separate or marital, agreeing on a total value for the marital property, and deciding how to divide it.

California law stipulates that many assets and debts accumulated during the course of a marriage or community property.  Property that one spouse acquired due to an inheritance or a gift or owned alone prior to the marriage is that spouse’s separate property.  California law also explains that property that spouse has acquired before divorce but following the date of separation is classified as separate property.

The separation date can become a critical issue if one spouse earned or received a large amount of money or spent a great deal of money just prior to the divorce.  While it is usually in your best interest to try to come to terms regarding division of property on your own, it may not always be possible to do so, and you should be prepared for what to anticipate in court.  The judge considers numerous different factors to determine division of property and does so in an equitable fashion.  They may not necessarily be equal down the middle.

You need to prepared with appropriate inventory of all assets and liabilities named as marital property so that you understand what is included in the overall inventory and appraisal process, and so that you can cite for your share of division of property or a fair distribution of the debts generated during the marriage.  Schedule a consultation with a California divorce lawyer today to learn more.