Property Division

Certified Specialist - Family Law

Property Division in Divorce

Experienced Newport Beach Divorce Attorneys

The State of California has mandated that the basic concept regarding division of property - in annulment, divorce or death - be based on a 50/50 division. This does not apply in the case of inheritance of personal gifts or personal injury awards. It does apply to most shared wealth or properties acquired after and during the marriage.

There are some areas that may be disputed, however. If the wealth of one of the spouses businesses has increased during the marriage it can be argued, that the other spouse contributed to that expansion. Therefore - even if the business or properties are held separately by one of the spouses and not "community property" it may be looked at by the court to determine if part of expansion may be considered a spousal contribution that should be rewarded in an equitable fashion.

Disguising Marital Assets

It is not something that either party may like to address however, there are many ways that a marital partner may hide or disguise marital assets - or even whole businesses. Of course no one wants to think in these terms, but our experience has shown that it is not as rare as some might like to assume. This fact also points out, the necessity and wisdom of hiring an attorney familiar with these sorts of matters. Some of the areas that should be investigated by a forensic accountant and reputable Newport Beach divorce attorney are as follows:

  • Hiding assets in a secret account
  • Purposefully overpaying taxes
  • Prepay benefits and bonuses to employees
  • Reduce prices of business items until after the divorce
  • Urging the valuator to "Under-evaluate" assets
  • Purchasing substantial gifts

Accounting for Community Property Laws

One of the most crucial aspects to completing a divorce is the establishment of how your property will be divided between you and your spouse. In states such as California where community property laws come into effect upon divorce, the matters are less contestable by the parties involved. The laws of community property state that all property that was acquired during a couple's marriage will be classified as communal and divided and distributed as such. This means that an even 50-50 split is meant to divvy up the assets of a couple that is now looking to dissolve their marriage through divorce.

Currently, California is one of only ten U.S. states to enact community property laws, making it crucial that you speak with an attorney whose knowledge extends to this area of law when you are considering divorce in the state. Legally expected to share your assets equally with your soon to be ex-partner, you need to prepare for yourself for the way that the division of your property could affect your financial stability and wellbeing. Community property laws apply to valuable items such as real estate, cars, stocks, legal titles, bonds, furniture and more; if it was purchased during the marriage, it qualifies as community property.

Call an experienced Newport Beach divorce lawyer from The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner if you have any more questions or need representation in your divorce.

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