California Divorce Community Property vs Separate Property

When you file for divorce in California, issues regarding community and separate property will arise. California is one of nine states with community property laws. Such laws dictate how community property is divided upon filing for divorce. Understanding how California divides community property vs separate property is important in protecting your property interests. Read on to learn more.

What is California Community Property?

California community property includes all assets and debts acquired during marriage. This includes real or personal property, retirement accounts, timeshares, vehicles, business interests, and life insurance. California family law requires community property to be divided equally between spouses upon divorce.

Quasi-community property refers to property acquired in another state before the couple’s move to California. Quasi-community property is often treated as community property during a divorce.

What is California Separate Property?

Separate property refers to assets and debts acquired before marriage or after the date of legal separation. It also includes any property that was provided as a gift or through inheritance to a spouse. A spouse will own one-half interest in community property assets (including income) provided it does not come from separate property.

Legal Date of Separation

The date of separation is used to determine community property interests. The date of separation is the date in which one spouse demonstrates that the marriage is over. There are no standard factors the court uses to determine the date of separation. Usually, a spouse may tell the other spouse that he/she no longer seeks to continue in the marriage. Contact San Diego Esquire if you need assistance with determining the date of separation in your marriage.

How to Divide Community Property

Both spouses are treated as equal co-owners under California community property laws. The California Family Law code requires each spouse to receive half of their community property share upon divorce. Property is usually divided “in kind” or in accordance with a fair and equitable agreement.

Couples can negotiate how property is to be divided based on their finanial needs. For example, one spouse may waive their interest in their spouse’s retirement plan in exchange for keeping the family home. An experienced divorce lawyer can help you negotiate a equitable distribution of assets and debts in your divorce.

SD Esquire Flat Fee Divorce Service

SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce.  This includes preparing and filling your divorce petition, completing your financial disclsoures, and drafting your marital settlement agreement (MSA). Our uncontested flat fee divorce service starts at $1500 for standard divorce (you are responsible for paying court filling fees).  The fee also includes service of process fees. You can make installment payments as your case progresses. It costs $500 to start your matter. Sign up today to get started.

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