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Identification of Marital Assets: Dividing Property in a Divorce

By Henry F. Lewis on March 02, 2018

As you can imagine, the division of property during a divorce can be the cause of major headaches. Many of the disagreements involve the differentiation between separate and community property in a marriage. As disputes arise, having an Oakland, CA divorce and family law attorney on your side becomes more of a necessity.

Let’s take a moment to consider the difference between community and separate properly in a marriage, and then discuss some disputes that could come up during a divorce.

Community Property

Also referred to as marital property, community property refers to earnings and assets that were acquired by a couple during their marriage. This could include wages, property, motor vehicles, and so forth.

Separate Property

Separate property refers to property that was acquired outside of the marriage. This means anything earned or received before the marriage was made legal, as well as any assets received after filing for separation but before the divorce is finalized.

Disputes Over Marital Assets

While the above seems straightforward and simple on its surface, the lines can get blurry during the course of a marriage. During a marriage, it’s possible for separate property to be transmuted into community property and vice versa, which makes issues of division quite fraught and difficult when there’s disagreement about what the marital property is in a marriage.

These issues become especially difficult when it comes to ownership of a marital home or other properties. A former couple may have a particularly strong attachment to a property, causing many serious arguments about who remains the owner.

Dividing Marital Debts

In addition to the division of marital assets, it’s important that couple also divide the marital debts. You cannot receive your fair share of assets and simple pass off the debt to your spouse. The assets and debts of a marriage must be split down the middle to ensure fairness.

California State Law on Division of Property

By California state law, couple should divide their marital assets evenly and equally, so that each spouse receives an equal amount. That goes for both assets and debts. In some cases, one spouse may have any additional assets obtained through a divorce offset by additional debt. This helps ensure balance on each side following the end of a marriage.

How a Divorce Lawyer Can Help

The personal and emotional attachments people have to marital property is a major cause of discord during a divorce. Having an objective, outside observer available to address the needs of each spouse and ensure fairness is key toward a smoother divorce proceeding.

By having a skilled divorce attorney on your side, you can avoid contentious direct engagement with your spouse and simply go about these matters in a professional manner. A divorce attorney offers some amount of peace of mind, and can assist with everything from the division of property to child custody and visitation. We are here for you.

Contact a Lawyer from Gardner & Lewis, LLP

For more information about your legal rights and options and how we can help you in your time of legal need, be sure to contact the lawyers of Gardner & Lewis, LLP. Our entire team is here to help you experience as few hardships as possible during your divorce.

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Oakland Office

1939 Harrison St
Ste 210
Oakland, CA 94612

More Info Directions (510) 451-4822