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How is Property Divided in a California Divorce?

When you are going through a divorce, property division is one matter that will have to be resolved. California courts use a community property method of property division rather than an equitable distribution approach. All property involved will be divided as either separate property or community property. Separate property will be kept with the owner of the property, while community property will be divided equally among both spouses. This process involves making the determination between the types of property, agreeing on a specific value for the communal marital property and then deciding how the property will be divided equally. When making the determination between community and separate property, the following guidelines are used:

Community Property:

  • Debts acquired during the marriage
  • Earnings during the marriage
  • Anything acquired with the earnings during the marriage

Separate Property:

  • Separate gifts
  • Personal inheritance
  • Awards from personal injury cases
  • Property purchases with separate personal funds
  • Personal businesses owned before the marriage

There can be complications in making these determinations; however, when property is a mix of community and separate property. For example, property that was purchased with a combination of separate funds and joint funds can be a confusing matter. There are also other exceptions when it comes to personal businesses owned prior to marriage. If the business increases in value during the marriage, the increase can be seen as community property. The division of property is a complex process, be sure that your rights are protected by teaming up with an Orange County family law lawyer. Obtain experienced representation from The Law Offices of Marc E. Mitzner for help in your divorce and property division matters. The firm offers a free case evaluation so you can get started by discussing your case at no cost, call now!