One of the most complex aspects of ending a marriage is deciding how to divide marital property. In some divorces, California spouses are able to reach a reasonable agreement based on amicable discussions and negotiations. When an out-of-court solution is not possible, the court will decide how to address all marital assets based on state community property laws. Regardless of how one is approaching his or her divorce, it is prudent to understand which assets will be eligible for division.
All marital property is subject to division in a divorce. This includes anything bought, earned, saved, collected or accumulated after the couple is actually married. Issues over property division can arise in couples of all income levels. Examples of assets that must be addressed in a divorce include:
- Any real estate, including vacation or second homes
- Personal vehicles
- Retirement savings, pensions and long-term savings
- Household furniture, valuable collections and jewelry
- Bank accounts
In California, the asset division process requires that each asset be carefully valued, and marital property is typically split roughly 50-50 between the two parties. Separate property includes everything earned before a divorce and after the date of separation, and it is not eligible for division. This also includes assets purchased with separate funds.
It is important to work with an attorney adept at navigating complex property division concerns in a divorce. During this process, it may be necessary to fight for both immediate property rights and long-term interests. Experienced guidance can be helpful as a spouse is making decisions that will impact him or her for years to come.