Helping Clients Seek Positive Property Division Outcomes
If you are considering divorce in California, you have likely heard the term "community property," but you may not be sure what exactly is meant by this legal concept or how it will affect the division of your property in divorce.
At the Law Office of Cecil & Cianci, PC, we are highly experienced at handling the relatively simple as well as the more complex division of community property. Do not hesitate to contact us for skilled advice from a family law attorney regarding your property division situation.
Understanding Community Property Law
In California, any asset that is acquired during the marriage by any means other than gift or inheritance is considered community property, meaning that it belongs jointly to both spouses. In some other states, what we call community property would be called a marital asset.
The community property of your marriage may include:
- Pension plans, 401(k)s, other retirement funds
- Real estate holdings
- The ownership of businesses
- Overseas investments or property
- Stocks, bonds, annuities, CDs, notes
- Collections (artwork, classic car, boats, etc.)
In divorce, the basic principle of the law is that community property is divided equitably. This does not mean that every single asset is split down the middle. Community property can be divided in kind by considering its value when allocating other assets.
While property acquired by either spouse before the marriage is not community property, the spouse can gain a community interest in non-community property by contributing to its upkeep. This can be taken into account during the division process.
Focus on the Most Relevant Issues
California has no-fault divorce, and the overwhelming majority of divorces proceed on grounds of irreconcilable differences. This means that the state does not take the underlying causes of the divorce into account when dividing community property.
The misbehavior of one or another spouse during the marriage or during the divorce process is only relevant to community property division if it rises to the level of a breach of fiduciary duty. The court will not award more property to one spouse because the other had an affair, behaved cruelly or otherwise violated the principles of a good marriage.
Aggressive Pursuit of Your Family Law Goals
Contact our Roseville law office us to consult a lawyer who can help you focus on the appropriate strategies for pursuing your goals throughout the community property division process.