Understanding how the property that you and your spouse own will be divided upon a divorce is one of the most important issues you will face in a California divorce. California incorporates a “community property” property division – which can be quite complicated especially when real estate, family businesses, pensions, and other complex assets are involved – and the financial implications of how your property is divided in either a divorce settlement or court order can be enormous. The experienced family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC, have extensive experience representing spouses in complex property division matters and are dedicated to winning fair results for their clients in light of California law.
The Basics of Property Division in California
California law makes a distinction between separate property and community property. Separate property is property each spouse owned individually before the marriage or received as a gift in the marriage, and that property is returned to that spouse in a divorce. Community property is all the property that was earned or acquired during the marriage, up til the date of separation, regardless of which spouse earned or acquired the property. Community property is split 50/50 in a divorce.
Complications that Can Arise in Property Division
Where this gets especially complicated is when certain types of property have value comprised of both community property and separate property. For example, a monthly pension plan that was paid into both before and during the marriage will have to be analyzed to determine how much of the pension should be paid to the other spouse as community property following the marriage. Family-run businesses and professional practices also present challenges with both valuation and classification as partly community and partly separate property.
Matters get more challenging still when the other spouse is not forthcoming or honest about the property he or she owns, such as when a spouse:
- Hides property at an office, vacation home, or with friends
- “Gives” property away with the understanding it will be returned following a divorce
- Undervalues or overvalues the worth of property
- Provides misleading or wrong information about the nature of the property
By working with an experienced family law attorney, you can make sure that your rights are fully represented and that the other party plays by the rules in reaching a fair property division outcome in your divorce.
Resolve Your Property Division Issues With Experienced Family Law Attorneys
The family law attorneys at The Law Offices of Omar Gastelum and Associates, PLC, have many years of experience representing spouses in property division matters and all other issues relating to divorce, and are dedicated to obtaining the best possible outcomes for their clients. For a free consultation regarding your property division matter, call our offices today.