One of the most contested issues in a divorce matter is how spouses will divide their property, and specifically their “community property,” which is also known as “marital property.”
In California, community property refers to all assets acquired and debts incurred by both or either spouse between their date of marriage and their date of separation. However, there are exceptions, such as the exception that any assets that are acquired by one party as a “gift” or “inheritance” during the marriage are not community property. An asset received as a gift or inheritance will usually be characterized as the "separate property" of the recipient spouse.
In California, there is a presumption that all community property assets and debts are to be divided equally when spouses get a divorce. However, before any division occurs there must be a determination as to the characterization of each asset and debt – in other words, there must first be a determination as to whether each asset and debt is “community property” or “separate property.”
An experienced divorce attorney is necessary to ensure that you understand what community property means, including the exceptions, and to ensure that all community property is divided according to California law or according to an equitable marital settlement agreement reached by both spouses.
Unfortunately, there are various other issues that can arise when it comes to property division. There may be an attempt by one spouse to hide or fail to disclose property. There may also be an attempt to misrepresent the true value of a community property asset or item. An experienced divorce attorney can assist you in ensuring that your spouse understands that he or she must disclose all assets and all of the information relevant to such assets.
If you are interested in scheduling a consultation with the Law Office of Vanessa Valenzuela to discuss issues related to
property division in your divorce or legal separation case, please give our office a call at (916) 680-9778.