Campbell Property Division Lawyers Helping Clients Divide Assets and Debts During Divorce
One of the most difficult aspects of divorce is the property division process. This is especially the case if you’ve lived with your spouse for several years, as determining who gets which assets can feel nearly impossible. The same goes when you divide your debts since you likely have many shared bills you’ve paid together for years.
This is why it’s important to hire property division attorneys who are well acquainted with handling family law matters in Santa Clara County. When you hire our Campbell law firm for help dividing your assets and debts, you’ll get the support of an experienced family law attorney who can manage the most complex property division issues. Contact us for legal guidance throughout your California divorce.
What Is Community Property According to California Law?
As you begin the property division process, you must determine which assets are considered marital property – also known as community property – and which are separate property. This is because the two are treated differently during a divorce.
California is a community property state. This means any property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses as it’s considered marital property, so it will be equally divided. Debts taken on during the marriage are treated the same way.
For most couples in California, these are considered marital assets and will be divided equally:
- The marital home
- Rental or vacation homes
- Bank accounts
- Retirement plans
- Pension plans
- Business interests
In most cases, these and other assets are considered community property and are owned equally by you and your spouse. Your Campbell property division lawyer will advise you on whether you should sell your community property so you can split the profits or negotiate on who gets to keep each asset. If you have questions about what qualifies as marital property in a community property state like California, or if you’re wondering how a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement affects this, contact our family law attorneys.
What Is Separate Property In This State?
In community property states like California, you typically get to keep your separate property. This refers to any property that you owned before you got married. For example, if you bought a car or accrued funds in retirement accounts before your wedding day, these are considered separate assets that will not be divided.
In California, inheritances are not considered marital property, even if acquired during the marriage. So, if a relative passed down some jewelry to you during your marriage, you can keep it during the division of marital property.
Gifts given to one spouse during the marriage are also separate property and, therefore, not subject to California’s community property laws. So, if your friend gave you a gift meant just for you, you can keep that particular item during the divorce.
How Will the Court Handle Property Acquired After the Date of Separation?
Divorce can take months to years, depending on the case’s complexity. You will likely buy new items during this time, and it can be confusing whether you must share them with your spouse once the divorce is final. The answer is that you can typically keep anything you purchase after your separation date.
But for this to apply, you and your spouse must agree on when your separation occurred. For many couples, it’s when one spouse lets the other know they wanted a divorce. For others, it’s the day one spouse moved out of the family home. If you can’t agree on the date of separation, an attorney can help so you know which items you’ve purchased are considered your separate property.
Of course, the same rule applies to debts. If you accrued debt after your marriage was over, you would be expected to pay those bills on your own, just like you would with any debts you brought into the marriage. If you have questions on how assets and debts acquired during divorce will be handled, a property division lawyer can help. If necessary, they will hire a forensic accountant to determine when your spouse acquired a particular bank account, house, business, or another asset. Contact our California family law firm today to schedule a confidential consultation with a trusted attorney.
Are You Ready To Hire Property Division Lawyers in Campbell?
We understand that divorce is hard on most spouses, so we aim to make it easier. You shouldn’t have to worry about legal issues, including how to divide personal property, while going through all the emotions a divorce can bring. If you want a chance to breathe a sigh of relief while you separate from your spouse, contact our Campbell law firm to handle any family law matter on your mind.
Whether you have a complex case involving business interests or want to know what counts as community property, we can help. We have the resources to take on any case involving the division of community property in California, so even if we need to use the services of forensic accountants and business valuators, we can handle your legal needs. Call us at 408-688-9153 to learn more about how our property division attorneys can help you.