Certified Family Law Specialist, State Bar of California, and Board of Legal Specialization

When a couple decides to end their marriage, they must address many issues, including how to divide their assets. Unfortunately, property division can be one of the most contentious parts of a divorce.

An experienced Simi Valley property division lawyer could help you valuate and divide your assets in a way that makes the most sense for you and your ex. Let our knowledgeable family law attorneys help protect your property rights during the dissolution of your marriage.

What Property May be Subject to Division upon Divorce?

Anything that has value or can be bought or sold may be considered divisible property, including:

  • Bank accounts
  • Stock portfolios
  • Real estate
  • Vehicles
  • Jewelry
  • Furniture
  • Pensions, annuities, and other retirement accounts
  • Intellectual property, including patents and trademarks
  • Privately owned businesses

A knowledgeable attorney could help identify a couple’s assets in Simi Valley and assist in determining whether a certain piece of property will be included in the court’s distribution.

Defining Community and Separate Property in Simi Valley

California is a community property state, meaning anything the couple purchased with marital funds or accumulated during their marriage will be subject to division upon divorce. Otherwise, California Family Code §770 stipulates that assets acquired by each spouse before they married, as well as inheritance and gifts obtained during the marriage, generally remain under sole ownership in the event of divorce.

A critical issue in categorizing community property is determining which of a couple’s assets are considered separate and which will be divided at the end of their divorce case. A seasoned attorney could assess the spouses’ assets and help categorize and divide their community property as part of a divorce.

What if Community and Separate Property Are Mixed?

Determining whether property is classified as community or separate is challenging when the couple blended the two. Assets that were originally under one person’s sole ownership may become part of the marital estate if they are commingled with other community property. If this occurs, the spouse who initially purchased or owned the property may lose some of their interest in it.

A knowledgeable lawyer in the Simi Valley area could further explain how financial assets and debts may be classified and divided when the marriage ends.

Impact of Debt on the Division of Assets

Under state law, a couple’s community property is subject to the risks of both spouse’s debts. If a creditor enters a judgment against one spouse, they can garnish the wages of the other to satisfy that debt.

Per California Family Code §911, a spouse may protect their income from garnishment for the other’s debts if they:

  • Maintain a separate bank account
  • Deposit their earnings into that account
  • Do not commingle those earnings with the marital estate

Because the categorization and management of debt are so critical to each spouse’s property rights post-divorce, consulting with a dedicated lawyer in Simi Valley is an excellent first step in preparing for the division of your marital assets.

Work with a Respected Property Division Attorney in Simi Valley

If you and your spouse own assets, separately or together, a compassionate Simi Valley property division lawyer could help you determine how to divide them fairly. One of our firm’s trusted attorneys could zealously represent your position in court, so get in touch today.

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Hoffer Family Law Firm