Mission Viejo Property Division Lawyer

Worried about property division in divorce?

The division of property is often an issue of contention in divorce. As this is a community property state, the process of dividing marital property is part of the process, and can be fairly simple or very complex, particularly in high net worth divorces, or in marriages of long duration. The term "community property" refers to the fact that under state law, both spouses have equal ownerships of all of the assets acquired during marriage. Some exceptions include:

  • Property that was obtained by gift or inheritance;
  • Property acquired after a legal separation;
  • Property owned prior to the marriage;
  • Property that was specified as non-marital property in a pre-marital agreement.

If community property has included contributions from both parties, whether these contributions were equal or not, this property will be divided equally in a property settlement. It can be a complex matter to sort out "who gets what." It is important that you have legal representation that will protect your right to your share of the marital property, and will help you to take action to retain any separate property, which can be an issue, particularly in marriages of long duration.

Rules of Property Division in California

Property division is not accomplished through an exact division of assets. The assets deemed to be marital assets, including any increase in value of assets during the term of the marriage will be divided equally in terms of value. This is one of the most important aspects of a divorce, and should be managed by a legal professional who can find hidden assets, sort out issues related to the comingling of funds, business ownership and financial contributions and participation and other matters.

If there were debts incurred by one spouse for an educational degree, it is likely that these costs will be reimbursed out of their portion of the estate to the other spouse. Pension plans, employment benefits, business ownership and interests, and the family home and other property will be divided, and the court uses certain formulas for each type of asset. In many cases, negotiating a settlement outside of court leads to a better resolution – one that makes sense to both parties. Our attorney Daniel C. Hunter IV has more than 45 combined years of experience in property division, including the determination of separate or community property, and can represent you either in negotiating a fair property settlement, or at trial when these matters cannot be resolved without the intervention of the court. Call our firm today to schedule a consultation.