As a community property state, California orders that everything a husband
and wife own be split equally between themselves in the event of a
divorce. In comparison, other states may direct
property division in a manner a judge deems as equitable, or fair, but not completely equal.
As a community property state, it is important that the right assets be
included in the division process. If one spouse owns certain property
or assets separately, they will want to make sure that those assets are
kept separate and not divided.
This also means that both spouses have an equal stake in the money earned
by either one, regardless of the length of marriage. All the property
that is purchased with this community money or shared between the two
spouses will be included in the property division process.
How will it all be divided?
Determining what property will be kept separate and what property will
be divided in a divorce can be challenging. A couple must assess what
was shared and what was truly kept between each individual spouse. Often
times, property becomes mixed once a couple gets married. For example,
if a husband bought a car prior to the marriage, but his wife helped him
cover monthly car payments once they were married, it may be considered
community property that they shared.
Community property often includes items such as:
- The family house
- Furniture and home décor
- Joint bank accounts
- Family-owned businesses
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement accounts
- Any type of shared debts
Separate property can include anything kept apart from marital assets, such as:
- Gifts or inheritances received during marriage
- A personal vehicle or property bought prior to marriage
- All property, wages, or assets earned after the date of separation
So long as the assets are kept separate from marital property and not intermingled,
they can typically be considered separate property and will not have to
be divided up in the event of a divorce. It is important that you keep
documentation for these items so that you can ensure your separate property
Have more questions on how your property will be divided in a divorce?
Goldberg & Gille can provide the counsel and insight you need backed
by our 80 years of experience!
Call us today for a consultation.