You and your husband have been married for over 30 years. During this time, the two of you have acquired a substantial amount of assets, including retirement and investment accounts and multiple properties. Last week your husband asked you for a divorce.
With the exception of child support and custody, the division of assets is often the most hotly contested aspect of divorce proceedings. The greater the shared assets between former spouses, the more potential for a protracted court battle over who gets what. Sometimes spouses are able to quickly and agreeably determine the division of assets early in a divorce.
During divorce proceedings, property divisions can be one of the most complex and contested issues you have to handle. For example, determining the value of the property in question can require multiple appraisals.
Divorces are a complex matter and, with prenuptial agreements, dividing the money is relatively easy. It's valuing businesses, property and other assets that makes it an arduous task.
Here at The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC, we advise our divorce clients in a wide range of legal issues related to dividing their property between themselves and their spouses. When the assets in question are of high value or unique character, it is critical to assign values that are accurate and reasonable for purposes of proper property division.
After the end of a marriage, one of the most complex issues both parties need to resolve is property division. California is a community property state, meaning all marital assets are divided between spouses in equal proportions. The same rule of community property applies when one spouse owns a business; that business is also subject to equal division at the time of divorce. In fact, it is a managing spouse's duty to disclose all matters pertaining to the business to his or her spouse.
In most property division cases in California, divorcing couples fight over bank accounts, real properties, vehicles, houses and even the furniture. But what if one spouse is an artist who creates extraordinary pieces of art? Will the artwork created by the spouse during marriage be considered marital property?
When a California couple gets married, each spouse tends to work hard in order to develop a successful career. Their hard work not only earns a good income but also secures their household's finances and financial stability. However, when the relationship goes downhill and ends in a divorce, everything that the couple worked hard for such as their bank accounts, business assets, furniture and even their marital home can be at stake during property division. This is one of the reasons why property division is among the most complicated tasks in a divorce.
Most Californians are loosely familiar with the legal issues involved at the end of a marriage. Some have experienced them firsthand, and others have seen friends or family members experience the range of emotions that comes with the end of this most intimate relationship. However, before divorce papers are filed and a couple is forced to deal with issues such as child custody, spousal support and asset and property division, they might want to look more closely at what the process entails.
Many Californians know that divorce can have a big financial impact on people's lives. For this reason, some people consider or enter into prenuptial agreements before marriage that identify and establish specific assets as separate property belonging to just one or the other person. Separate property is excluded from property division but marital properties - that is, jointly owned properties - are subject to distribution. California law also addresses another category of asset known as quasi-community property.