When people go through a divorce in California, they need to split the life they shared during the marriage into two separate lives. This can be a very emotional process for the couple. It is not easy to split up possessions and potentially divide their time with their children if they have minor children. This has to be done when the spouses may be mad at each other, sad, hurt and experiencing other emotions.
While it is not easy to do, the law does try to take the emotions out of some aspects of the divorce though and one of those areas is when the parties divide their marital property. California is known as a community property state, which means that all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is jointly owned by both spouses. It does not matter if the property is only titled in one spouse’s name or only one name is on an account, if it is was acquired during the marriage it is equally owned by both.
Division of marital property
Marital property is generally split equally in a divorce as a result. However, the spouses may have separate property which was owned prior to the marriage or was obtained through an inheritance or gift given to just one spouse during the marriage. The burden is on that spouse to prove that the property is separate though. Debts of the couple are not necessarily split equally though and are instead divided equitably. There are factors analyzed to determine if an unequal split of debts is fair.
There are many couples who go through divorces in California each year. Dividing marital property may seem fairly straightforward, but it can be complicated to determine the exact value of the property as well as determine what is separate property and what is marital property. Experienced attorneys understand property division and may be able to guide one through the process.