Property Distribution

Property Distribution in California

Resolving Important Divorce Matters in Murrieta & Temecula

When a husband and wife decide to divorce or legally separate, they must face many issues concerning their individual futures. These include child custody and visitation, spousal support and the division of their marital property. Marital property is a legal term that refers to the property that has accumulated throughout the duration of a marriage. All marital property is subject to distribution among ex-spouses. Any property that is accumulated before or after the marriage is considered separate property and is not subject to distribution.

In California, asset division is handled under "community property" laws, meaning that all assets are combined and a value is determined for all marital property. It is then distributed equally based on the value of the assets—unless either spouse can prove that certain property and/or assets were an inheritance or gift. In this case, this property is considered to be solely owned by the appropriate spouse and cannot be included in the division process. Also, if either party can prove that certain marital assets were purchased before the marriage existed, they may be able to exclude them from "community property" division, as well.

Divorce Proceedings: Property Division

The court requires that spouses who decide to divorce or separate must reach an agreement regarding property distribution. This may include:

  • The family home
  • Other real estate
  • Motor vehicles
  • Checking and savings accounts
  • Retirement funds
  • Investments
  • Personal property
  • Jewelry and other assets

Murrieta Divorce Attorneys Serving Riverside County

Liabilities will also need to be divided. Depending on the amount of property and each spouse's individual needs, the property division process may be highly complex and difficult to resolve. The discovery and negotiation procedure must be thoroughly taken through to completion so that all property is disclosed by both parties. If yours is a high net worth divorce, this action is very important so that you are not taken advantage of in any way. This is one of many reasons it is highly advisable to work with an attorney rather than attempting to navigate the divorce on your own.