Allow Our Attorneys To Guide You Through Equitable Distribution Of Your Assets

Allow Our Attorneys To Guide You Through Equitable Distribution Of Your Assets

This process of dividing the property can be very emotional and stressful. Johnson Attorneys Group is here to guide you through this difficult process and ensure that you are given your fair share of the marital estate.

How to go About Division of Assets during a Divorce

A married couple’s assets and debts will need to be divided fairly between them if they divorce, and in the event that they cannot agree on what is fair, they will need to ask the court to make a determination. Even if you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on property division, it’s important to note that a judge will still need to sign off on your agreement and issue a final order approving the division of marital property. Until that happens, the two of you will still jointly own the community property and debts equally. The division of assets that have accumulated in a marriage can be a difficult process. Under California Family Code Section 760, most property owned by a couple is community property or owned equally. However, there are some exceptions which are classified as separate property.

Set of keys with keychain of split household

What Property is Shared?

Under California community property laws, each spouse is entitled to an undivided equitable distribution of the assets they own together. This equitable distribution includes property that may have been a separate asset prior to the marriage and was combined—or “commingled.” Oftentimes, a spouse’s separate property may become marital property. One example is a premarital bank account belonging to one spouse. When the other spouse deposits money into it, the account becomes community property. Money inherited by one spouse that is used to pay off a mortgage, upgrade the house or is put in a joint bank account is also considered community property. Also, a home owned by one spouse prior to the marriage will become marital property if the other spouse contributes to the mortgage, repairs or other expenses of that property. Pensions, which may be one of a couple’s largest assets, may also be community property.

Here are some examples of community property:

  • Wages and income of both spouses during the marriage
  • Bank account Interest, pensions, and financial assets
  • Retirement accounts, benefits
  • Real estate
  • Mortgages
  • Motor vehicles
  • Furniture, household goods
  • Debt accrued during the marriage

How to Determine the Value of Your Assets

There are some assets that are considered separate property or non-marital assets under California law. These assets belong to one spouse and, if protected correctly, cannot be divided upon a divorce. Some examples of separate property are an inheritance that is kept in a separate bank account or trust, gifts or items inherited, or property that spouses acquired prior to the marriage. Additionally, the property and income each of the spouses acquired or earned after they separated is considered separate property. Simply put, any assets that predate the marriage that were not co-mingled into community property is sole and separate property.

Determining the value of all your assets is one way to ensure that both parties receive their fair share of the marital assets or an equitable distribution at the time of separation. Creating a list should begin with all your assets and debts with the value or total owed of each item, for each partner in the relationship. This creates openness and understanding between both of you.

Call (949) 942-8784 to request a private consultation with a Divorce attorney regarding asset division.

Answers to Common California Family Law Questions


How Long Does A Divorce Take In California?

The laws around divorce in California are outlined very specifically and there are certain steps that must be taken in order to finalize a marriage dissolution. If both parties agree on everything and all the financial orders are laid out and dealt with, the dissolution can happen very quickly. Alternatively, a contested divorce could span the course of several years and involve multiple parties and mountains of paperwork...

Read More

Who Has To Pay Alimony Or Spousal Support?

Alimony laws in California can get complicated and it’s important that you understand the need for legal representation when discussing alimony or spousal support payments. There are many financial calculations and algorithms that are used to determine who has to pay who and how much. Alimony or spousal support is designed to help a spouse after a divorce or separation maintain the style of living they were accustomed to in the marriage....

Read More

How Does Child Custody Work In California?

Often times, spouses can work together on a child visitation arrangement or a child custody agreement. Many other times they cannot agree, and this is why there are custody laws in California. The courts are in the position to designate physical custody and legal custody, should the need arise and the parents are unable to make this decision for their family. In these cases the courts will need to weigh specific factors in determining which parent...

Read More