100 dollar bill split in half

Splitting Assets in a Divorce

During a divorce, couples will have to go through the tedious process of splitting all of the assets from their marriage. Because this process can difficult and complicated, couples often get angry and fight over who will get what. However, California has specific guidelines on how to divide property.

Community Property

California is a community property state, which means that the assets and debt acquired during the marriage will be divided equally as part of the divorce settlement. Assets that are looked at during division are marital and separate property.

Community property is anything that was acquired by either spouse during marriage. The following can count as marital property and therefore, subject to division:

  • Real estate

  • Bank accounts

  • Shareholdings

  • Artworks

  • Automobiles

  • Pensions

  • Retirement benefits.

One of the first things you will need to do is have your community property appraised. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a professional to do the appraisal, the court will arrange to have it done.

This is an essential part of the property division. If, for example, you want to sell a piece of land, a house, or an artwork, then the proceeds will need to be split between you. This can only be done fairly if a valuation is carried out and the cash worth of the object assessed.

Separate Property

All the assets that you owned before you were married are categorized as separate property. This includes any gifts or inheritances you received before and during the marriage. While community property is subject to division, separate property is yours to keep after the divorce.

The only exception to this is if you or your spouse owned property before you were married, and it increased in value after the marriage. In this case, it may be subject to division.

Protect Your Interests with an Orange County Divorce Lawyer

If you believe divorce from your spouse is imminent, you should hire a divorce lawyer. It will take some time to sort out the assets that are part of the marital estate. If your spouse is a successful business owner and investor, you will need to hire a forensic accountant. The job of the latter is to track down all their holdings and accounts so that every dollar is accounted for in the divorce proceeding.

Call Moshtael Family Law Orange County today at (714) 909-2561 if you need legal assistance with your divorce.