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Division of Assets

Posted on in Property Division

b2ap3_thumbnail_divison-of-assets.jpgA dissolution of marriage, also known as a divorce, is a very emotional situation. Regardless of whether it is joy, anger, sadness or stress, both sides are very likely to be running on an extreme version of whatever their emotional reaction is. Unfortunately, emotions tend to cloud our logical thought processes, making subjects like dividing up the property even more difficult. Yet, countless couples overcome these obstacles on a daily basis, and we assure you that you will, too.

Your Checklist

Every divorce is different, however, the property list is nearly always fairly similar. While your actual checklist may vary from the following list slightly, some of the major highlights could still be present. Here is a list of assets that divorcing spouses should discuss in terms of how they are willing to divide them:

  • Community property family residence and joint property such as land or vacation home;
  • Community property all vehicles;
  • Community property bank accounts;
  • Community property securities such as stocks, bonds, money market accounts and CD’s;
  • Community property valuable collectables like classic cars, antiques, coin collections, etc.;
  • Community property household items; and
  • Community property retirement plans.

The Split

California is known as a community property state. This basically means that from the date that the marriage began to the date of the dissolution, all items acquired are to be split equally. If you cannot decide on a distribution of assets, then the court will order the distribution of assets so that each party will be awarded one half of the value of the community property assets and debts. Only items that are considered to be “separate property” are not included. These items are items that:

  • Were acquired by the spouse before the marriage;
  • During the marriage via a gift, devise, or bequest; or
  • After the parties separate.

This must be proven by a deed or document showing such a date or acquisition or a document that both parties sign acknowledging that they are separate property.

Avoiding A Courtroom Battle

If the two sides are amicable enough that they can come to an agreement without a judge getting involved, that would be a large time and money saver for both sides. This can be done with the help of a lawyer and/or a mediator. The end result is a marital settlement agreement (MSA). This agreement may be merged with a judgement in the courtroom and will therefore be enforceable as any other judgement. If you do not merge it, it is simply a contract. If any contract is breached (someone does not play by the rules), then it can become a civil case.

If you are in the considering a divorce and just are not sure which way to go next, it may be beneficial to have an attorney on your side to help guide you through the process. Every decision you make during this time is crucial to your future and the future of your children and it is best not to make guesses as to what may happen. With the right lawyer, you can rest assured that you are taken care of. If you are looking for a trusted and reliable San Jose, CA divorce attorney, contact Ventresca Law Firm today at 408-395-8822 for your free initial confidential consultation. With 35 years of experience, there are not very many surprises that we do not expect and we can use that knowledge to help you achieve the agreement that is best for you.

Sources:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1254.htm

http://www.courts.ca.gov/1032.htm

http://www.divorcesupport.com/divorce/California-Property-Division-Factors-440.html

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Los Gatos, CA 95030

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