How to divide property in California

Divorce is a complicated process that will only be more complicated if you don’t understand the process of dividing property in California. You will need to understand what is community property, what is separate property, what money has been commingled, and if a business split is involved. In this blog Charles D. Stark would like to help you better understand these points so that the division of your property will be an easier process during your divorce.

Community and Separate Property

According to California Family Code section 760 community property is defined as, “all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.” This is intended to be a broad statement but there are other statutes that both expand and limit whether real property (residential or commercial real estate or land) or personal property (anything that isn’t real property) is community or not, depending on the facts of the case. In general, community property is split 50/50.

Separate property of a married person includes the following:

  • All property owned by the person before marriage
  • All property owned by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent
  • The rents, issues, and profits of that property
  • The earnings and accumulations of a spouse and the minor children living with, or in the custody of, the spouse, while living separate and apart of the other spouse

Commingling of Community Money

Comingling is a common occurrence during marriage whenever separate money is commingled with community money or property during marriage. For example, this often takes place when one spouse has money in a bank or investment prior to the marriage, but during the marriage, places the other spouse on the title to the bank account, but also starts to deposit community earnings into that account and pays community debts from that account. Another frequent and major commingling occurs during a refinance of real estate during marriage.

Splitting a Business During the Divorce

Whenever one spouse operates a business and that spouse has the knowledge, experience and relationship with the customers, a court will generally award the business to that spouse but order the operating spouse to buyout the other. Often community efforts and separate business investment is comingled requiring complex analysis.

Contact a Santa Rosa Divorce Lawyer

If the divorce process in California sounds complicated that’s because it is. If you are in need of an experienced attorney who will give you the time and attention that you need through your divorce please contact Charles D. Stark, Attorney and Counselor at Law.

Contact Us

Sorry. This form is no longer accepting new submissions.