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California Is a Community Property State in Matters of Divorce

Posted on in Property Division

California divorce attorneyLove and loyalty are not the only considerations made by couples considering divorce. Beyond issues of emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being, there is the question of wealth. Specifically, how are assets divided when spouses divorce in the state of California?

The answers to this question are complex and bear heavily on related matters of child support, spousal support, and the ownership of real property and personal property. Governing all such inquiries is California’s status as a “community property” state in matters of divorce. An experienced Cupertino divorce attorney will understand precisely how California’s community property laws will apply to the division of assets and liabilities in the event of a marriage’s dissolution.

The Marital Economic Community Is Relevant to a California Divorce

As a community property state, California divides equally what is known as the “marital economic community” between spouses in the divorce process, irrespective of whether one or both spouses are at fault with regard to the marriage’s dissolution. Importantly, the marital economic community typically comprises both more and less than the assets existing in a marriage.

First, it is critical to remember that the marital economic community contains, in addition to assets, any debts that spouses have come to hold in the course of marriage. So division concerns both positive and negative elements.

Secondly, California law respects what is known as “separate property.” Separate property includes assets and liabilities of a spouse prior to marriage. For example, if one spouse received a sizeable inheritance or trust fund prior to getting married, the assets would be deemed separate property under state law. Unless that is, the spouse took action to legally transfer the separate property into the marital economic community.

As you can see from reading even the most basic elements of California community property law, divorce in California can be complex. This is especially that case when a marriage contains a vast and complex assortment of assets and liabilities. Beyond salaries and loan debts, there may be real estate holdings, stock options, pensions, and other financial resources. In addition, there may have been sacrifices during the marriage that are more difficult to calculate, such as the common example in which one supports a spouse while they complete an educational degree program, such as law or medical school.

Moving Forward with Your California Divorce

An experienced Los Gatos/Sunnyvale divorce attorney understands the complexities of California community law and will work to protect your legal rights and interests. In finding peace of mind concerning important matters like your assets and liabilities, experience matters. To discuss the impact of California community property law on your community and separate assets and liabilities, please contact a skilled Los Gatos family law attorney from Ventresca Law Firm at 408-395-8822. We assist clients in the Los Gatos, Sunnyvale, Saratoga, and San Jose area.



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