In a California dissolution, property is first characterized as community property or separate property. Community property includes the assets and liabilities of both parties acquired during marriage and before separation. Generally, property acquired before marriage, during marriage by gift or inheritance, or after separation, is considered separate property of the spouse who acquired the property.

If the property division issues are submitted to a court, the court is mandated to make an equal division of the value of the community property. This essentially means that each spouse is awarded half of the value of all property acquired during the marriage. Separate property is awarded to the owner spouse. Unique exceptions to the mandatory equal division requirement include personal injury damages, domestic violence damages, deliberate mismanagement of community property, and family pets.

To better understand the differences between your community and separate property, set up your free consultation with our knowledgeable property division lawyers.