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How is the Division of Community Property Determined in California?

As part of divorce proceedings, it is necessary to split up marital property.  This process can be done by the couple, if they are able to come to an agreement together on what should happen to debts and assets. Often, couples are unable to come to an agreement on how to split up assets. Instead, they must go to court and a judge will make a decision on how to divide up the property they own. In California, community property rules apply in situations where judges make decisions on how property should be split up. blue-calculator-1-1240990

The division of community property can be a challenging and contentious issue, as couples fight over all of the assets they have acquired during the entirety of their marriage. An Irvine divorce lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can provide invaluable assistance during this process.  Call today for help dividing your assets in a manner that makes sense for your specific needs.

How is the Division of Community Property Determined in California?

Under community property rules, each spouse gets 1/2 of the value of assets acquired over the entire course of the marriage. The couple must create an asset statement listing real estate they own, money in bank and investment accounts, and other assets.  In some cases, things can be divided exactly in half. For example, if the couple has $10,000 in the bank, each spouse could receive $5,000. In most situations, however, it is impossible to give each spouse an exactly equal share of each particular item they own. The couple cannot, for example, each take half of the house. As a result, the goal is for both spouses to wind up with a collection of assets that are equal in value.

Ideally, a couple will be able to come to an agreement themselves on who will take what particular assets. The wife might take the house, for example, while the husband takes two cars and some money they have in the bank that is equal to the equity in the home. Couples know their own property and their own desires better than anyone else, and so can make the most informed choice about which particular items should go to which spouse.  If a judge is asked to decide on the issue, the judge will consider the assets on the asset list and any arguments made by each spouse and will then divide the assets.

Debts must also be divided up when a couple splits up, with each spouse getting 1/2 of the value of the debts owed. Debts can be used to balance out the asset award as well. For example, if one spouse receives the house, which is very valuable, that spouse may also be assigned a larger portion of responsibility for marital debts to balance out the fact that she got an asset worth so much.

At Brown & Charbonneau, LLP, we understand how division of community property is determined in a California divorce and we can help you to negotiate or argue for a property division that works for your needs. Call us today to schedule a consultation and learn more.