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

California is a community property state, meaning all property and debt acquired during a marriage is subject to division  upon divorce. As challenging and time-consuming as valuing and dividing community property may be, it can be especially difficult when spouses are unable to reach an agreement on their own.

When divorcing couples cannot come to an agreement, a judge will have to differentiate community property from separate property as well as how to distribute it between the parties. Any assets acquired before marriage qualifies as separate property and is not subject to division, so it is important that you know and are able to communicate the difference.

If you need help with the asset distribution portion of your marriage dissolution, contact an experienced Ventura County property division lawyer at our firm. One of our skilled divorce attorneys could advise you on your legal rights and options and guide you through every step of the local asset division process.

The Process of Dividing Assets in Ventura County

According to California Family Code §760, all assets and debts acquired during a couple’s marriage are presumptively  community property. Moreover, CA Fam. Code §2581 presumes that the assets and debts spouses acquire during their marriage belong to both of them equally. As such, they must divide the property equally in a divorce per CA Fam. Code §2550.

Property can be difficult to characterize without the professional help and guidance of a seasoned lawyer in our area who has experience determining which of a couple’s assets are subject to division upon divorce. Examples of community property include but are not limited to:

  • All wages and income earned by either party during their marriage
  • All debts incurred by either party during their marriage
  • Any retirements, benefits, or pensions begun during marriage and that accrued interest during the marriage

Our dedicated legal team could help either spouse navigate the property division process during their divorce proceeding to alleviate as much stress as possible. 

What Constitutes Separate Property?

Under CA Fam. Code §770, property which is considered separate will be awarded to its listed owner. As long as the property remained separate during the marriage, it will be considered separately owned. Separate property can include any of the following assets:

  • Property owned before marriage
  • A business that was owned before the marriage
  • Property that is owned separately and purchased without the use of joint funds
  • Inheritances
  • Personal gifts
  • Personal injury case rewards
  • Property owned before the marriage
  • The rents, issues, and profits of the property

When Are Separate Assets Subject to Division?

It is important to note that property can be both community and separate, making the distribution process extremely complicated. For instance, a business that one spouse owned before marriage constitutes separate property. However, if the business increases in value during the marriage, the gain in earnings will qualify as community property.

Separate assets can also become commingled in certain circumstances. For example, if one spouse contributes to the growth of their partner’s business, they would be entitled to their share of business interest upon divorce.

Contact a Skilled Ventura County Property Division Attorney Today

It can be challenging to determine which assets are communal and which are separately owned. Determining how to divide jointly owned assets can be made easier with the assistance of a seasoned Ventura County property division lawyer. Call our firm today to get started on the division of your assets.

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