Dividing assets and personal belongings can be a difficult and emotional task. It can become more challenging when there are disagreements between you and the person who you’re dividing them with. Property division in California is different than in other states in that it follows community property laws. This means that all assets and other property that were acquired by two people during their marriage are owned equally by both of them. To make sure that your property is protected and divided properly during a divorce, hiring an experienced family law specialist and attorney can be crucial to the process.
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Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers for Orange County’s Property Division
When it comes to hiring any type of attorney, you want to work with someone you can trust. Dorie A. Rogers is not only one of Orange County’s most trusted attorneys, but she also has over three decades of experience in working in the world of the law. In addition to her extensive experience, Attorney Rogers has completed rigorous training to become a certified family law specialist by the State Bar of California—something not many other attorneys have achieved. Dorie A. Rogers and her team have dedicated their practice to helping families through difficult situations. No matter what you’re going through, don’t hesitate to reach out for compassionate and efficient legal assistance from the team at the Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers.
What Is Property Division in California?
Property division simply refers to the division of assets, property, and other personal belongings a couple may have acquired over the years. Community property laws state that all assets received during a marriage are to be split equally if a separation or divorce occurs between partners. Unless otherwise stated in a pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement, all property that is acquired will be considered jointly owned in the eyes of the law and can include anything from your 401k pensions to your properties and vehicles.
Separate Property Vs. Marital Property
There are two main forms of property recognized by the state of California when a couple files for divorce:
People who are married still have the right to own property individually. Separate property is recognized by the state to be under one partner’s ownership and is oftentimes not subject to division if divorce occurs. If one or both partners own many important assets, they might consider getting a pre-nuptial agreement. This agreement identifies their separate property and assets if they were to divorce in the future. If property or assets are acquired during a marriage that a spouse wants to identify as separate, post-nuptial agreements can also be made. If a divorce occurs, separate property belonging to each spouse may have temporary restrictions implemented by the court until the divorce process is finalized.
Marital (Community) Property
Marital property, more commonly known as community property in California, is the property that a couple acquires throughout their marriage. This means that it is owned equally by each partner in the eyes of the law. Property that is considered “community” can include vehicles, properties owned, furnishings, art, insurance policies, retirement plans, bank accounts, investments, and more. Neither spouse is allowed to try to sell or give away any kind of community property without the consent and knowledge of the other. Community property can also include shared debts that a couple may have collected together, meaning that the responsibilities for taking care of those also have to be separated fairly.
When You Should Consider a Property Division Lawyer
Property division isn’t always simple, as you’re often parting with things that you love. Hiring a property division lawyer in California can help to make the process easier while helping fight for assets that are important to you. You should consider finding a property division lawyer if:
You’re in a High Asset Divorce
High-asset divorces can be stressful, which is why it’s important to have an attorney working with you who is experienced with them. Divorces involving many expensive assets often take longer to finalize due to aspects such as property division. A property division lawyer can not only help you manage your properties, but they can assist with the process of working with the court to split them equally.
You Need to Have Your Property Evaluated
Figuring out the overall worth of your different assets can be complicated. Hiring an attorney can help speed up the process of evaluating your different properties and assets so that you can have a better idea of how they will be divided. An attorney is also experienced with evaluating and distributing shared property. They can help you understand the process as well as make sure your partner isn’t hiding anything that you both own.
You Have Separate Property
If you have separate property, you will most likely need a lawyer to go through the property division process. This is to ensure that there are no issues with assets that belong solely to you and that they are not split or given to the other partner. In some cases, separate property may be turned into community property through a process known as transmutation. In most divorces, separate property that is acknowledged in prenups or postnups is safe, but it’s always smart to have the help of an attorney you trust.
There Is Complex Property Division
Complex property division is a term used for the assets that aren’t as simple to separate, like properties or personal belongings. Property division that is considered complex can include assets such as businesses owned by one or both partners, stocks and investments, business partnerships, and retirement funds.
Can Separate Property Turn into Marital Property?
In California, separate property can turn into marital or community property under a few different circumstances. In some cases where “comingling” occurs, it is too difficult for the court to trace roots of the true ownership of the separate property, and it is then considered community property. In most other cases, what is known as “transmutation” occurs, which legally changes separate property into community property.
Transmutation of separate property can occur in multiple forms. One common method of transmutation is when a couple agrees that they both own a piece of separate property, and they make it official by having a title change completed. Transmutation may also occur if one partner may have come into a sum of money or have separate property that may make the division of community property more equal between spouses. The court does not do this often unless it seems that a partner is hiding something or if the division isn’t fair.
What Does the Date of Separation Mean?
The date of separation is a significant part of your divorce because it identifies the day that one or both partners expressed their intent to end the marriage, oftentimes physically separating that day or soon after. The reason that the date of separation plays such a large role in your divorce or separation is because of California’s community property laws. After the date of separation is recognized, all property that is acquired after that date by each partner is then considered separate property and is not subject to be divided as the divorce is finalized. There has to be evidence to show that the date of separation occurred on a specific day, as sometimes partners try to lie or persuade the court it happened later to acquire more property. Your date of separation will also affect aspects like your alimony and child support payments. If the partner who currently has the children separated from you, your child support or alimony payments may be pushed back to begin around or after the date of separation.
California Property Division FAQ
Q: What is the procedure for dividing property?
A: Property division can be a long process due to the number of factors taken into consideration. First, your community property will need to be evaluated. Then, you and your partner will either decide how to split it and have the court approve it, or the court will split the property for you.
Q: How is community property divided in California?
A: Community property is divided equally between each partner when they divorce in California.
Q: How is community property calculated in California?
A: After having your property evaluated, the state takes the net value of the assets acquired during the marriage and then divides it in two.
Q: How long do you have to be married to get half of everything in California?
A: There is no set length of time that a marriage must be active to qualify for splitting community property. However, they must have acquired property during the marriage in order to split it.
California Property Division Assistance You Can Trust
At the Law Office of Dorie A. Rogers, you can trust that you’re receiving the top care and representation that a family law attorney can provide. With over thirty years of experience, Dorie A. Rogers has provided help in all areas of family law, from child custody battles to property division. If you are going through a difficult divorce, our team is here to help you through it. We understand just how complicated the process can be and are prepared to assist you in making it easier. For help with property division in Anaheim or to learn more about our legal services, contact our team for a free consultation.
“Dorie is a very powerful attorney and a great asset to have on your side in any family legal matter. She is extremely bright and insightful, and I got everything I asked for in my lawsuit.”
“I would strongly recommend Ms. Dorie Rogers for any legal needs. During my Divorce proceedings, Dorie’s professionalism, expertise in Divorce Law and legal skill helped bring my case to a close in both a timely and mutually agreeable manner.
Additionally, Dorie took the time to understand me and my background to better represent me in my case. She showed a level of caring and concern that helped me through a very difficult time. She is an outstanding lawyer and wonderful person.”
“Second to none – I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Dorie to anyone. She was my attorney for my divorce and custody case. She will do everything it takes to get the job done and all with a smile on her face. Her knowledge and expertise will assist anyone in a family law situation get the results they want.”
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