Riverside Property Division Lawyer

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Riverside Property Division Lawyer

Property Division

Riverside Property Division Attorney

When a married couple decides to divorce, all the assets and property that were acquired throughout their marriage need to be fairly split between them. This process can be complicated and often results in conflicts between couples who cannot agree. If you are going through the property division process here in Riverside, CA it is essential that you find an experienced Riverside, CA family lawyer. They can make sure that you receive the property you rightfully deserve.

Najera Law Group, P.C.: Your Property Division Experts

At the Najera Law Group, P.C., our firm is devoted to providing professional family law services that improve our clients’ lives. With almost two decades of experience, our team has assisted countless individuals across southern California with their different legal needs. For property division in California, having a lawyer who is familiar with community property guidelines is crucial. Luckily, our team has years of experience representing divorce cases and can work with you to find a solution for yours, too. If you are going through a divorce in Riverside, CA, and need assistance with property division, do not delay seeing how our team can assist you.

Community Property Laws in California

Each state has the power to determine how property is divided in a divorce. In California, the government follows community property laws when splitting marital assets and debt. This means that all property, assets, and debt that a couple acquires during their marriage are classified as community property. Community property is considered to be legally and equally owned by both spouses. This means that both spouses are entitled to 50% of their assets if a divorce occurs. However, it is not usually possible to split an entire marital estate in half. Because of this, the property division process often goes through family court to ensure that assets are divided as equally as possible.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

When going through the property division process of your divorce, you will come across the terms “community property” and “separate property” quite often. Community property, otherwise known as marital property, refers to all assets, property, and funds that were collected by a couple throughout their marriage. Marital property is considered to be equally owned by both spouses, making them both entitled to 50% of their communally collected assets. Common pieces of community property include:

  • The family home
  • Shared vehicles
  • Vacation homes
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit card debt
  • Retirement plans
  • Art, furniture, jewelry, and other valuable assets
  • Investment accounts

Separate property, however, refers to property that is owned only by one spouse. In most cases, separate property includes assets that one spouse owned before the marriage. These assets stay in only one spouse’s name and do not become communal. Separate property can also include assets such as inheritances, even if they were acquired during a marriage. Some of the most common separate properties include:

  • Bank accounts
  • Inheritances acquired before or during the marriage
  • Debt acquired before marriage
  • Gifted property or assets acquired before or during the marriage
  • Extra pieces of real estate

How Does the Property Division Process Work in CA?

Once a divorce reaches the property division process in California, it follows these general steps:

Community and Separate Property Are Identified

Before property and other assets can be fairly divided, a divorcing couple first needs to identify each of their assets. When doing this, it is important to clearly decipher which assets are community property and which are separate property. Your community property will be all the property, assets, and funds that were acquired and used during your marriage by both spouses. Separate property includes assets that were owned before the marriage that are owned solely by one spouse and not shared. Keeping track of what is separate and what is communal will help you avoid having your individually owned assets treated as communal and accidentally divided.

All Community Property Is Valued

Once all marital property has been properly identified, each asset will need to be valued as closely as possible to an accurate market price. In most cases, it is best to call for the help of a professional so that your assets are valued accurately. This way, too, when you and your spouse compare your lists of your communal assets, you will have strong evidence that your valuations are correct because they were performed by an expert. It is also crucial to know the proper value of each asset so that you receive your fair share of property when it is divided.

Property Is Distributed

Property can be divided through multiple methods, depending on what works best for the divorcing couple’s unique situation. Assets can be distributed in several ways:

  • Simply split the property and assign different pieces to each spouse.
  • Assets can be sold, and the profit can be split between each spouse.
  • One spouse can have the opportunity to “buy out” the other spouse’s share of an asset if they wish to have it.

One or more of these methods may be used in some cases. All can ensure a fair division of the shared marital property.

The Advantages of Working With a Property Division Lawyer in Riverside, CA

Everyone is entitled to an equal share of the property acquired during a marriage. Unfortunately, some complex divorces can lead to intense conflicts. One spouse tries to get an unfair share of the property, or they use deceitful methods, like lying about the value of the property involved. Regardless of whether you are in a high-net-worth divorce or one full of conflicts, working with an experienced lawyer can help you immensely throughout the process.

Our team at the Najera Law Group, P.C., can not only help you better understand community property laws, but we can also work with you to ensure you receive the assets you are entitled to. We can also assist you by helping to identify your communal property, helping you value it properly, and representing your interests during the asset division process in court. During a divorce where you must divide your marital property, do not wait to get help from experts that you can trust.

FAQs About California Property Division Law

How Long Do You Have to Be Married to Get Half of the Property in California?

There is no set period of time that a couple has to be married in order for them to receive an equal share of assets in divorce. Because California follows community property laws, the length of the marriage does not affect what a spouse is entitled to. Whether you were married for 10 months or for 10 years, each spouse is equally entitled to the property that was acquired during that relationship.

What Is Commingling?

Comingling of assets is a term that is used when a couple has separate and marital property that has become intertwined over the years. For example, an individual had a bank account before their marriage and kept it under their own name. It would be considered separate property. However, they add funds after the marriage, and both spouses then use the account. That may be considered commingling if a divorce occurs.

Who Gets the Family Home in a Divorce in California?

Dividing the family home can be a complicated process, especially if both spouses are fighting for it and they both are entitled to an equal share. In most cases, if a divorce involves children, the court often gives the family home to the custodial parent. In other cases, a judge may decide it is best for the home to be sold and for the profit to be split between spouses.

Do You Have to Go to Court for Division of Property in California?

Every couple has the opportunity to try and go through an uncontested divorce where they agree on terms outside of court. They may also try methods like mediation and arbitration so they can avoid litigation. However, a judge will still need to approve the final decision made if the couple decides to do so outside of court. In most cases, though, property division results in disagreements that are usually handed over to the court.

Is New Property Still Considered Community Property Before a Divorce Is Finalized?

No. Once there has been an established date of separation, the property that each spouse acquires from then on is considered to be separate and owned individually. The date of separation in California refers to the date that a couple officially decided to separate. This could be the day an individual moves out or the day they decide to divorce.

Contact Our Riverside Property Division Attorneys Today

Divorces are complicated, especially when dividing marital property. Here at the Najera Law Group, P.C., we know how difficult divorces can be. That is why we are devoted to providing compassionate, strategic assistance and advice for each and every one of our clients. If you are going through the asset division process in Riverside, our team can work with you to make sure you receive the property you are entitled to. To learn more about our different legal services, or to request a free consultation with one of our team members, contact us today.