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How is Property Divided in a California Divorce?

two rings and the word divorce

One of the most typical areas of disagreement in San Diego divorce cases is property division. When couples decide to end their marriage, it’s only natural for each of them to be worried about their future finances and for them to pursue as much as they possibly can get out of their divorce agreement. But unfortunately, property division can be a complex subject without legal guidance.

Unfortunately, a divorce can send you into an emotional tailspin. However, you cannot allow your feeling for your spouse to cloud your thinking when it comes to protecting assets. Our San Diego divorce lawyers are here to share with you, vital information about California’s property division laws.

Property Division in California

California is a community property state. Unlike the majority of other states, all assets and property acquired during the marriage must be divided equally between the divorcing parties in California. This means any assets either spouse acquired during the marriage will be split up between the two parties.

Assets that you owned before you were married are not subject to this rule. These assets are called separate property and are not subject to property division. Separate property can include gifts or an inheritance that a spouse received as well.

However, there are exceptions to this law. For example, if your spouse made an investment or purchased a property before you were married and it increased considerably in the course of your marriage, it may be subject to the same community property law.

Determining Property Value

You and your spouse can get your assets appraised by an independent expert. If you cannot agree on a person to carry out the task, the court will arrange to have the valuation done. After the appraisal, you will know what each item is worth.

At this point, you will need to determine how you want to split your assets. You may want to sell certain things and share the proceeds between you. One of you can also buy out the other’s interest in real estate, artwork, and other such valuables.

Hire a San Diego Divorce Lawyer Immediately

Once you know that a divorce is imminent, you must start taking stock of the life you have built together. If your spouse is a successful investor and businessperson, they may have bank accounts and assets you know nothing about.

A San Diego divorce attorney can help you track down those assets so that every penny of the money they accumulated in the marriage can be accounted for by the court and divided in accordance with the law.

To learn more about how we can assist you in your divorce, call Embry Family Law today at (619) 485-6476!


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