PROPERTY DIVISION

Division of Property in Divorce Lawyer Serving Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Contra Costa County, California 

One of the most important issues that must be addressed when going through a divorce in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, or Contra Costa County is the division of marital property. People often wonder whether the property, assets, and liabilities accumulated during the marriage will be divided evenly or if there are other options available.

California is a “Community Property” State

California, along with a small number of other states, adhere to the community property standard when it comes to determining how assets and liabilities are allocated between each spouse in a divorce. The community property standard posits that marital property is one single entity. Basically, this means a marriage takes two people and converts them into a single legal “community.” As a result, once you are married, all property (as well as debt) acquired during the marriage is considered “community property.” Because California law views both spouses as one party rather than two, marital assets and debts are typically divided 50/50 between you and your spouse, unless you can agree on another arrangement.

Property that is not split up during property division is considered to be “separate property,” which typically includes any assets acquired before you got married and gifts and inheritances received by one spouse during the marriage. Additionally, any assets and income that are acquired after the divorce is filed will not be divided.

Community property laws simplify how to split assets between dividing spouses by considering all the assets that were accumulated by both parties. The value of these assets are added together and divided in half, then distributed to each spouse.

Situations Calling for an Uneven Distribution of Marital Assets

Even though California adheres to the community property standard which asserts that all assets acquired during the course of a marriage should be evenly distributed among each party, that does not mean a 50/50 split is required in every case. In fact, there are certain conditions and situations where a court will disregard the 50/50 split and divide property unevenly. Those situations include:

  • Evidence of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that ensures certain assets remain separate in the event of a divorce; and/or
  • The divorcing couple reaches an agreement on a different plan for dividing assets and the agreement is approved by the court. 

Have Questions about the Division of Property During a Divorce in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Contra Costa County? Contact The Geller Firm Today

If you have questions related to the laws governing the division of property during a divorce in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, or Contra Costa County, California, take action today by contacting The Geller Firm. Our team of experienced and respected Lafayette divorce attorneys are here to help and understand the complexities associated with dividing assets in a community property state. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and are proud to provide legal services in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, and Contra Costa County, along with San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, and Pleasanton. Our legal team is available for virtual and in-person consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.