Campbell Property Division Lawyer
Dividing up the community property in a divorce can be a difficult task. It might seem simple at first, but as you get into the details you soon realize how much more complex this job actually is. Deciding who gets what, how much something is worth, or even whether a particular item is community property or separate property can be quite complicated. The Campbell property division lawyers at Hepner & Pagan, LLP, are here to provide the legal advice, assistance and expertise to help you through this process. Whether working on your own to solve the issue with your spouse, looking for guidance in mediation, or needing full representation up to and including courtroom hearings, our Santa Clara County divorce lawyers want to give you the level of help you need to reach your goals in this critical aspect of your divorce.
Read on to learn about property division in a California divorce, and call Hepner & Pagan, LLP to share your concerns and find out how we can help you through your divorce with legal coaching, mediation or full representation as best suits your needs.
Characterization of Community and Separate Property
Community property gets equally divided in a California divorce, and each party leaves with the separate property they came with or acquired during the marriage. This simple-sounding rule quickly becomes complicated. For example, property acquired before the marriage or after separation is separate property, while property acquired during the marriage is community (marital) property. However, if you receive a gift or inheritance specifically to you while you are married, that property is also your separate property, even though it was acquired during the marriage. But any money you earn during marriage is community property, even though you were the one who earned it. If you had a piece of investment property before the marriage, the income derived from that investment is separate property, unless you commingle it with marital funds or use it for community purposes. Starting to sound more complicated right? Determining whether a particular asset is marital or separate can require the use of forensic accounting experts who can trace the funds. The same rule applies to debts as well; liabilities that are considered community property are owed equally by the parties, while separate debts remain the obligation of the spouse who incurred it. Don’t worry, we can help break these things down for you.
Valuation of Community Property
Valuing a piece of property can be as simple as agreeing on its value or getting an appraisal, but different appraisal methods can yield wildly different results. Sometimes the parties need to agree on a valuation method first and then deal with the results. When one or both spouses owned some or all of a business during marriage, that business might be community property subject to division. California law recognizes different accounting methods to value the business depending on the extent to which personal involvement/spousal labor was responsible for the business profits. Without an accurate valuation of each asset and debt, a proper division of community property is next to impossible.
Division of Community Property
California is one of only a handful of community property states that requires an equal division of marital property. Marital property is considered to be owned equally by the parties, and so in a divorce, all community property must be equally divided. But how do you equally divide a house, a car, a piece of jewelry or a work of art, unless you sell it and split the proceeds 50-50? Selling off all assets is rarely desired by either party. But if all community assets and debts are properly characterized and accurately valued, then it’s possible to make the property division come out equally in the end. This is easier said than done, especially if the parties disagree over the nature or value of a particular item. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you keep this process on track by advising on the law and helping to avoid or resolve conflicts. We want to make sure the property division is done right and that you get the property that is important to you to the fullest extent possible.
Call Our Campbell Divorce Lawyers for Help With Complex Property Division Issues
For help with division of community property and other aspects of your California divorce, call Hepner & Pagan, LLP in Campbell at 408-429-8336. Our Campbell property division lawyers serve clients throughout Santa Clara County, giving people the right level of legal help they need to accomplish their goals in a divorce or other family law matter.