In the event of a divorce in California, the assets, and debts need to be divided as community property. Community property refers to property earned by either spouse during the marriage. Income is also included when it comes to community property. In other words, all the property attained or acquired from the very first day of marriage to the date of separation is considered community.
On the other hand, the income or property attained after the date of separation does not include in the community. It is considered separate property. Therefore, proving a date of separation is important for a spouse to receive the fair value of the property. It is extremely difficult at the same time. Keep in mind that the date of separation has nothing to the day when one party leaves a marital residence. It is the date when a spouse decides to end the marriage and act according to the law for a separation.
What Counts as Community Property?
Undoubtedly, each spouse in California has equal rights to receive what belongs to him or her. No matter who was doing the earning or spending, community property will equally divide among each partner upon the divorce. However, if there is any written agreement in favor of the inequitable division of property, it can lead to a different scenario. In California, many people believe that they will receive 50 percent of everything, for instance, 50 percent in the car.
It is up to the court to determine the overall fair market value of the entire community property. To fairly divide the net community state, it is important to weigh it against the debts the community owes. It means a fair division of community property in terms of value. If one party gets the more valuable vehicle, the other one will receive slightly more debt to make it fair overall. As a result, each spouse will receive assets equal in value.
When a divorce event occurs, it becomes difficult to distinguish between community property and separate property. One party started a business before the marriage, but both spouses played an equal part during the marriage to expand the business. Isn’t it difficult to divide such property upon the divorce? Everything earned during the marriage when both spouses worked on equally is community. For that purpose, you need to print out the save the balances of accounts before marriage to prove what belongs to you in the event of divorce.
Having a pre-marital or post-nuptial agreement is another way to get around the community property regime in California. In the event of a divorce, these written contracts help in predetermining the fair division of property.
Most importantly, a couple can mutually change an asset’s characterization. They both can agree to change community property into separate property and vice versa. But, make sure that you have written contracts of each and everything that clearly states what each spouse intended. If you need help navigating this time, Hello Divorce provides flat fee legal services to make sure things are done right on your time.