Comprehensive Solutions to Difficult Family Law Issues

Dividing Property In A California Divorce

Financial matters in divorce address significant changes to the ongoing stability of each of the divorcing spouses. After several, or many, years, a divorce may involve separating what was one joint budget into two households — regardless of the disposition of any residence. Property division centers on allocating both the assets and debts of the divorcing parties.

California follows the principle known as “community property,” which is the idea that both parties are essentially joint owners of all of the assets and debts, that were acquired during the marriage–regardless of who earned, purchased or acquired the assets (or debts). Unlike many other states, marital property and community property are fairly similar concepts. California courts seek to arrive at a fair division of community property  in each divorce.

Property Division Includes Making Smart Choices

Premarital acquisitions are generally known as the separate property of one spouse, but are owned equally by each spouse. You may visualize property division similar to dividing the marital assets (and debts) as a 50/50 matter. However, in the real world, property division is not as easy as cutting things in half with a knife, but more likely, creating a plan that divides the value of the sum of assets equally. There may be many difficulties during an emotional time in determining the value of some assets and allocating items that an experienced property division lawyer can help you to address.

Understanding how property is split and the larger picture involved in a divorce can help to to make informed choices. Our lawyers review all of the details and explain your options to allow you to make those informed decisions about your future.

In California, community property law regulates the division of property between divorcing spouses. Under California law, a property division order cannot be modified without a showing of fraud, mistake, distress, or other significant factors. For this reason, if you are considering divorce, you need a lawyer who guards your rights from the very beginning.

At the Law Offices of John A. Guthrie, our attorneys carefully review every category of real and personal property with each client to be sure that all property is classified properly. Located in Pleasanton, and Danville, California, we serve clients throughout the surrounding area.

Answering Your Questions About Community Property

  • Did you have property that you brought to the marriage, but now you aren’t sure it remains separate property? You need an attorney knowledgeable about tracing issues in California community property law.
  • Do you think your spouse may be hiding assets? If so, you need a lawyer who knows where to look and what to look for. Contact us to discuss your suspicions.
  • Are you a self-employed business owner? You need a law firm that knows how to work with forensic accountants to get an accurate valuation of the business. Talk to us about the business evaluation process.
  • Have you already received the family home in an uncontested divorce, but can’t get your former spouse to sign the quit claim deed? You may need an attorney to enforce your order. Ask us about bringing a motion for contempt.

Our goal as your family law attorneys is to ensure that what is rightfully yours remains yours in a final dissolution of marriage judgment. It is important to note that dividing assets and debts fairly is not always as easy as creating a ledger for distribution. For instance, retirement accounts and real property have different processes and may involve different strategies in the overall property distribution analysis. Similarly, tracing premarital property and any commingling are complex issues that require skilled analysis.

Your California Community Property Law Attorneys

Get tailored advice and skilled representation in your divorce by contacting our  law firm. We offer free initial consultations, and we can help you understand the way that property will be divided in your case. We have offices in Pleasanton and Danville to serve you. Call 925-271-4342.