Ensuring Assets Are Divided Equitably In Divorce
Community property refers to a system where ownership of all money earned and property acquired during a marriage is shared by both spouses. Property division is typically tied to many complex laws, but a community property attorney in Manhattan Beach, California, can guide you through this complicated process to ensure that your interests are fully protected. Our attorneys understand community property laws in the state of California. These laws aim to ensure an equitable division of assets in the event of divorce.
What Is Community Property?
California is one of several states that recognizes community property in marriages. Community property essentially refers to any assets acquired during marriage, regardless of which person’s name appears on the title.
The two primary exclusions to community property are gifts and inheritances. As these items are often given or willed to one person rather than to a couple, they are considered separate property. This applies even if these items are received during marriage.
Identifying Separate Property
Separate property refers to any property acquired by each person before marriage. This can include both real estate and personal property as well as smaller items like jewelry. Since these items were acquired before the marriage took place, each person is entitled to keep his or her separate property in the event of divorce.
Types Of Community Property
Community property refers to more than just real property like homes or land. It can also include bank and retirement accounts, pension plans, as well as:
- Personal property: Personal property acquired during marriage, such as vehicles, boats, jewelry and other items, are considered community property. This applies even if vehicle titles are only in one spouse’s name.
- Retirement assets: Retirement accounts set up during the marriage are also considered community property, even if they are not joint accounts.
- Bank accounts: Any joint bank accounts opened by the couple during the course of their marriage are considered community property. Additionally, if one or both spouses have separate bank accounts, the funds in those accounts could be considered community property, depending on where the funds came from.
- Business assets: Any business assets acquired during the marriage by either party are considered community property.
- Real property: Any real property a couple acquires throughout the marriage is considered community property. This can include first and second homes, vacation homes, land and commercial and rental properties.
When filing for divorce, the courts will typically divide all community property as fairly as possible between the two parties. In addition to the marital assets listed above, this can also include any debts incurred during the marriage.
Understand Your Rights And Protect Your Assets
To protect your right to a fair and equitable division of your community property, call our office at 310-545-1900 or contact Rombro & Manley LLP online. One of our lawyers can help guide you through the process and help you understand your rights when it comes to community property.