WE MAKE SURE WHAT’S YOURS, STAYS YOURS WHEN DIVIDING PROPERTY IN A DIVORCE
In California, part of the divorce process is to divide all of the property that you and your spouse have acquired. Property is anything that can be bought or sold, or anything that has a value like:
- A House or Investment Properties
- Vehicles, Boats and Trailers
- Bank Accounts
- Jewelry, Art and Collectables
- Furniture and Appliances
- Retirement and Pensions
- Stocks, Bonds and Mutual Funds
- Business Interests
Property is usually categorized as either community property or separate property. Community property is defined by Family Code section 760, which generally states that all property acquired by a married person during the marriage is community property. Separate property is defined by Family Code section 770, which includes all property owned before marriage, after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent, and the rents, issues, and profits of any separate property. California law requires that the court equitably divide the community estate. However, at Butler Law, PC, we strive to reach out‑of‑the‑box negotiations for our clients to obtain the best possible outcome while retaining what is most important to you.
Although the definitions of community and separate property seem black and white, the division of property becomes more complicated when property is accumulated both before and during the marriage. For example, if one spouse has a 401(k) that they have been contributing to both before and during the marriage, this property is now both separate and community property. The team at Butler Law, PC, can help you strategize a fair division of these types of assets.
COMPLEX DIVISION OF PROPERTY
Division of property can be more complex if a business is involved and is the main source of income for you, your spouse, or both of you. The courts use specific methods, including those made standard practice in the Van Camp and Pereira cases, to determine the value of the business. Choosing the property method of valuation is complicated, but in general, the Van Camp method maximizes the separate property value, and the Pereira method benefits the community. Often times, an expert will be necessary to give their opinion as to the business’s value to assist in either negotiating a fair buyout between spouses or for the court to use if litigation is necessary.
In complex family law cases, issues may also arise regarding tracing separate property contributions to the community assets. The attorneys at Butler Law, PC, are familiar with these issues and can assist you with obtaining a full picture of the marital estate by utilizing discovery techniques, subpoenas, depositions, and experts to help you reach an equitable resolution.
CONTACT OUR FAMILY LAW FIRM TO DISCUSS HOW WE CAN ASSIST YOU WITH DIVISION OF YOUR PROPERTY.
The skilled lawyers at Butler Law, PC, can you determine how your property should be divided, whether through a settlement agreement or through court. Call 619-514-3365 or book an appointment here to schedule a consultation to discuss your property division concerns.