Property Division in Orange County

How Property is Divided in a Divorce

California recognizes community property laws in divorce cases, meaning that all marital property will be divided equally between both partners. Marital property constitutes any property that is acquired by spouses during a marriage. This property division process is prone to cause disagreement and friction between spouses. Controversy tends to arise when both parties compile a list of the assets that exist between them. For instance, one party may claim that they bought the family boat before the marriage, but the other party will declare that their name is on the title.

What is considered marital property?

California community property law states that your property must be divided 50-50, but without the guidance of an experienced divorce attorney, this could wind up being a 25-75 affair. At The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman, we have an extensive knowledge of property division law, and we know how to determine which of your assets will be recognized as marital property.

If your property falls into the following categories, it can be considered marital property:

  • Debt incurred by both parties during the marriage
  • Assets incurred by both parties during the marriage
  • Marital home and vacation properties
  • Business assets built during the marriage
  • Any commingled assets even if built before the marriage
  • Any commingled property even if purchased/owned before the marriage

Establishing Your Non-Marital Assets

There are certain exceptions to the division of marital assets that you may be eligible to claim. Any property that you received in the form of an inheritance or a gift may be exempt from your marital property. Likewise, any assets that you acquired before the marriage or after the separation may also be considered non-marital property. However, there are some circumstances in which your property may lose its non-marital status.

If your non-marital earnings are somehow commingled with marital proceeds, they may lose their non-marital status. For instance, if you deposit non-marital funds into a joint account, and these funds are withdrawn and used over time, it may be impossible to determine which funds were used first. In this situation, it is likely that the value of your non-marital proceeds will decrease.

If marital proceeds are spent on non-marital property and its value is improved as a result, it may therefore be considered marital property. The law defines this scenario as a marital improvement. Also, your non-marital property may be traced into your marriage. For example, if you bought a vehicle before you were married and traded that vehicle in for another car during the marriage, you may be able to establish the vehicle as a non-marital asset during your divorce through tracing.

Call Us Today for Your Free Consultation

Your divorce can be a strenuous process, and the last thing you need is more contention. An Orange County property division attorney will work closely with you to resolve this issue in a manner that suits your needs. Our firm believes that every divorce is different and should be handled as a unique situation. You can expect to receive the attention to detail and personalized care that you deserve.

When you trust in a skilled attorney who has years of experience handling divorces in California, you have an invaluable ally and asset in your corner. If you have questions or concerns about marital property and property division, an Orange County lawyer at The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman can offer you knowledgeable legal counsel.

Contact a skilled divorce attorney at The Law Office of Bruce C. Bridgman today if you have property division issues.

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