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Fair Property Division in a No-Fault Divorce

Posted on in Property Division

b2ap3_thumbnail_property-division_20170314-152211_1.jpgCalifornia is one of the many no-fault divorce states, meaning that no grounds for divorce are required to exist other than one party believing the marriage is beyond repair. Fault states are no longer common and the ones that still require grounds for a divorce require the couple to prove that a spouse did something wrong. In these situations, the faulty party suffered during litigation, especially with property division and custody concerns. Which of the divorcing parties is to blame no longer plagues courts in no-fault divorce states.

How does the court divide the community property?

If fault does not exist, how does one side “win” a divorce litigation case? In states such as California, there is no clear “winner” or “loser”. Even if evidence of adultery or abandonment are brought to the attention of the court, legally this evidence is irrelevant to the case and is not typically considered in the division of community property. A judge determines what is “fair and equitable” by considering all of the debts and assets within the community property, the property attained during the tenure of the marriage. What community property assets and debts is the question. The community property and debts are equally divided between the parties.

How does the court establish spousal support?

  • The marriage length,
  • Contributions as a homemaker or stay-at-home parent,
  • Training and the ability to attain a career,
  • Augmentation by one spouse to the other’s educational and professional success,
  • Financial necessities,
  • Health and disabilities, and
  • The income of each of the parties,
  • The ability of each party to work, and
  • Whether each party is working to his or her capacity.

Would fault ever matter during divorce?

Most evidence surrounding fault remains excluded from the proceedings. However, there are certain instances in which the misbehavior of a spouse had a direct impact on the economic situation. In turn, property division decisions may fluctuate. The following are examples of situations in which a judge may consider a fault:

  • Gambling resulting in a significant use or loss of community property assets and/or income,
  • Adultery in which one spouse spent a significant portion of the community property assets and/or income on another person,
  • Criminal activity resulting law enforcement seizure of property, and
  • Failure to support the family during a separation period yet supporting a new partner.

Fair Property Division

If you have questions regarding your divorce, understand that you do not have to go through it alone. Even in the friendliest of divorces legal counsel is advised, because the decisions that you are making can affect the rest of your life, as well as the lives of your children. It is important to have an experienced and reliable lawyer, someone who will help you get the outcome you want. If you are in need of a San Jose, CA divorce lawyer, contact the Law Offices of Benita Ventresca today. With over 35 years of family law experience throughout San Jose and Santa Clara County, California, we can use our expertise to guide you through this emotional process and make the decisions that are best for the future you want. Call us today at 408-395-8822 for your free initial consultation.



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