Dividing Marital Property

Orange County Property Division Lawyers

It can be stressful and confusing to figure out how to allocate shared property during a divorce. Property division laws were created to define how properties should be managed when spouses separate to help prevent legal battles that can disrupt family matters. The judicial division of the property also establishes the property rights and the obligations of each spouse. To get additional help with the legal division of your property, you can speak to a supportive property division lawyer in Orange County who can help you. To learn more, call Kaufman Steinberg today for a free consultation.

How Does Property Division Happen?

When spouses choose to get divorced, property owned by both are split between the two. This can be done in two ways, which is either by equitable or community property distribution. The allocation of marital property provides fair separation of ownership based on the guidelines within the state law.

Equitable Property Distribution

An equitable property distribution is applied by distributing marital property equally in the divorce proceeding. All of the property assets are classified as marital or separate property. Because California state is a community property state, you won’t encounter any equitable distribution laws.

Community Property Distribution

Through the community property distribution law, there is a complete 50/50 split of all property that was purchased or gifted when the spouses were married. This differs from the equitable distribution law, which states that any marital property is split between the two divorcing spouses, but it doesn’t have to be 50/50.

What Restrictions Apply?

Not all property will be covered by the community property distribution laws. Here are some exceptions.

No “In Kind” Division

In California, community property laws don’t apply to an “in kind” division of shared property, and because of this, you and your spouse would need to divide each individual physical object that is owned. The net value of assets combined between each spouse has to be equal. This means that a 50/50 split must occur for the entire value of your estate.

Out-Of-Marriage Assets Are Not Included

Any asset that a spouse owned before the marriage won’t be included in the allocation of property during the divorce. If a spouse received an inheritance during the marriage, this would not be included because the inheritance was intended solely for the beneficiary. Gifts are also excluded from community property laws. If there were any debts before the date of the marriage, those debts would not be allocated equally to both spouses. Property excluded also includes any assets that were acquired after a legal separation between spouses.

What Information Is Required For A Fair Property Division?

If you want to start preparing for the property division process, you can begin collecting information before seeing your lawyer. Here is a list of items that you will need.

Asset Contributions

You will need to list the monetary and non-monetary contributions of each spouse. This includes how each spouse contributed to the family and how they acquired and managed marital property.

Biological Information

You and your spouse will have to disclose your ages and any mental conditions. For example, if a spouse is suffering from dementia, this is information that needs to be included.

Tax Information

If any of the property is taxed, you can include how the taxes are applied and managed for each piece of property.

Dates Of Acquisition

The date the marital property was acquired, and by which spouse, has to be listed.

Known Debts

In addition to any liabilities, the total amount of each spouse’s debts must be included.

Liquidity Of Estates

You should mention whether the marital property is liquid or nonliquid, with cash being the most common of liquid property.

Date Of Marriage

Lastly, you will need to provide when you were married and if applicable when you were legally separated.

How Do Property Division Lawyers Help?

A California property division lawyer will do their best to represent your best interests. They help protect you and make sure you receive fair treatment during the community property division. They also make sure that the distribution of property goes smoothly and that you receive your fair share.
You may encounter difficult issues when you attempt to divide up your property. It is either the court or negotiations between you and your spouse that decide how the property will be awarded to each spouse. To make the process easier, a property division attorney can analyze each individual marital property and determine if it is community property or not. Information about the property and dates can prevent any misrepresentation or skewing of data during the division process. This way, the property is divided fairly without favoritism to either spouse. The attorney can also advise you on how the property should be divided during a legal separation or divorce.
Property division lawyers are well-educated and have a deep understanding of California laws. They are also very skilled in communication and can make a legal argument in your favor during the divorce. They can help you and your spouse negotiate an agreement through a settlement or court. Your lawyer is also aware of several division methods, including in-kind division, sale and division of proceeds, asset or cash out division, and deferred partition by conversion to tenancy in common. They can provide valuable advice on how each method can work for you or your spouse and what approach would work best for your unique situation.
With their talents and years of experience, your attorney will improve your experience during a stressful divorce. You won’t have to worry about fighting over personal property and upsetting any family members.

Learn More About Orange County Property Division Lawyers

If you are considering a divorce and own multiple forms of marital property, now is the time to get additional information on how the process works. Your property division lawyer can help guide you on what you need to get started and the best approach for negotiating a settlement with your spouse. If this doesn’t work, they can represent your case in court. Contact family law attorney Kaufman Steinberg for a free consultation today.
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.”

– Richard Bach
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