Asset & Property Division
California is a “community property” state, meaning that each spouse owns an equal interest in all property and debts acquired during the marriage. This adds complexity for those wishing to protect separate assets and property in a divorce, so working with an experienced family law attorney will increase your chance of successfully characterizing your separate property. JWB Family Law works with clients to make certain that their property and assets are protected during the division process.
To ensure a proper distribution, it is essential that every asset be accurately valued and properly identified as community property or separate property. We can help by making sure every asset is disclosed by your spouse and properly appraised, including complex matters such as business valuations and stock options.
According to California Family Code, “all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.” In divorce proceedings, the court will attempt to divide community property and assets as evenly as possible.
California Family Code defines separate property as “all property owned by the person before marriage” and “all property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent.” Thus, separate property is not subject to division by the court in a divorce.
To qualify property as “separate,” you must ensure the property is maintained and titled separately and apart from any marital assets or traceable as separate. An investment or exchange of separate property may jeopardize its separate status. JWB Family Law advises clients before and during a divorce on how to best assert a separate property claim in the divorce proceeding.