There’s a lot to sort through when a marriage is coming to an end. One of the issues on the table during a divorce is marital property division and it can be a pretty confusing and complex thing. California is a community property state and that means all property that is owned equally by both individuals is usually divided equally, unless they’re inheritances or personal gifts.
Community property doesn’t just include a home, but includes all income either person received during the marriage and all goods purchased with that money. That could include vehicles, fine art, antiques, etc. Not only assets are considered community property, but also debts that were incurred during the marriage. Regarding a business owned by one spouse — a portion of it might be construed as being community property if there was an increase in the business during the marriage or if both spouses contributed to it.
If one spouse owns separate property that has been commingled with community property during the marriage, that property might be classed as community property entirely or partly. Things can get pretty bewildering and emotional. That can be even more so if spouses can’t agree on how to split assets and debts.
Each spouse may need the independent advice of a lawyer to decipher what’s what regarding property and debts during a divorce situation. A California attorney experienced in marital property division may be able to weigh in on the legal aspects of this often complicated area of family law. An attorney may be able to work with a client to help him or her come to a fair property division arrangement with a former spouse.