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How will the California family courts split your property in divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2021 | Property Division |

Divorce is typically a time of uncertainty. It can be hard to imagine what your future will look like while transitioning out of a major relationship. Combine the changes in your personal life with the need to split your property, and it can be very hard to predict the future.

Every divorce has a unique outcome based either on marital agreements signed by the couple divorcing or state laws as interpreted by a family law judge. Some couples can also negotiate their own terms for a divorce before they file. If you don’t have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, what can you expect in an upcoming California divorce?

The law grants each spouse half of the community property

California uses the community property standard for splitting up the belongings and debts of spouses. Some of your property, including what you owned before you got married, gifts that you receive and any inheritances, are separate property that the courts usually won’t split up in a divorce.

Assets acquired during a marriage, income earned while married and debts accumulated during marriage are typically community property subject to division. The courts typically split every community asset and community debt evenly. However, not everything in property division is black and white.

Quasi-community property includes assets acquired in other states that would be community property in California. The courts generally split these assets like they would community property. Commingling of separate and community property might endanger the protections afforded to separate property. There may have been acts of dissipation or hidden assets that affect how the courts rule.

Although exactly predicting the outcome is impossible, you can likely estimate the results of your divorce if you understand the law and your assets well enough. Your family law attorney can provide valuable guidance.