Rancho Cucamonga Property Division Attorneys
Division of property during a divorce is often difficult and emotional. Whether you agree on dividing property civilly or you and your spouse cannot agree on who gets what, our California divorce attorneys can help you balance your legal, emotional and financial interests.
Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. is proud to be your law firm for life. We offer flexibility and creative solutions to our clients, and we are dedicated to protecting your interests and ensuring you receive a fair property settlement. We take pride in listening to your problems and using our years of legal experience to come up with a solution that works for your unique situation and suits your case. Call Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. at (909) 484-9992 or contact us online to schedule your consultation with an experienced family law attorney today.
Community vs. Separate Property
When it comes to a California divorce, a wide range of things qualify as “property,” including:
- Bank accounts
- Security deposits on apartments
- Pension plans
- 401(k) plans
- Life insurance (that has cash value)
The state of California is a “community property state,” meaning that a marriage or domestic partnership makes a couple one legal “community.” Therefore, any property—or debt—acquired during the marriage or partnership is shared between the two parties. Essentially, you can tell if property is “community property” by looking at the source of money used to buy it; if the purchase money was earned during the course of the marriage, it is most likely community property.
Similarly, any debt accrued during the course of the marriage belongs equally to both parties—even if only one spouse incurred the debt. For example, say your spouse buys a new car and incurs $70,000 in debt. Even if you did not have any hand in the purchase, that debt still belongs equally to both of you in the event of a divorce.
On the other hand, any property you acquired before your marriage is separate property and is legally yours to keep after a divorce. You are also legally entitled to any gifts or inheritances you have received, even if they came at some point during the marriage.
Property Division and California Law
Under California law, community property must be divided equally. However, that is not to say that every item must be divided equally. The goal is to give each spouse an equal net value. For example, say you have a house, a car, and $40,000 of credit card debt to split between the two of you. In order to strike a balance, one spouse could take the house and the credit card debt (or at least a much larger share of it), and the other could take the car.
If you and your spouse can come to an agreement about the division of your community property, it can speed up the process immensely. If you are both able to agree what should go where, you can simply put it into a written agreement (with the help of a family law attorney), which will become legally binding once signed by a judge.
If you and your spouse are not able to agree on how to divide community property, there are a few different options available to you. If you are able to agree about some things and not others, you can put the agreed-upon elements into an agreement and have it approved by a judge, similar to the process described above. Then you can use mediation, arbitration, traditional litigation, or another form of dispute resolution to figure out the remaining issues.
If you are unable to agree on any element of property division, you can either consult a mediator or take it straight to court, depending on your relationship with the other party. However, it is important to keep in mind that dividing property in court will most likely result in a less favorable outcome; the judge does not know your relationship or financial situation nearly as well as you do, so it is in your best interest to figure out as much of the specifics out of court as possible.
Our lawyers will first try to help you and your spouse come to a mutually satisfactory agreement about property division through mediation or other alternative dispute resolution techniques. If that is not possible, experienced trial attorneys and we vigorously protect your rights in family court.
Division of Complex Property
As experienced California family law attorneys, we understand the issues that arise when the property at stake is more than your house, car, or CD collection. We can help you with the division of complex property, including:
- Long-term community debt
- Medical and legal practices
- Division of retirement accounts and pensions
- Family-owned businesses (business valuation and dissolution)
- Second homes and other real estate interests
- Military pensions and veteran’s benefits
Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. can help with difficult property division issues, such as finding debts or assets hidden by your spouse before or during your marriage, as well as “quasi-community property,” which is property acquired by one or both spouses when living in another state.
Contact Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C.
If you are going through the divorce process and need help dividing property, Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. can help. With more than 18 years’ worth of experience in litigation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution, Attorney Azizi can help you develop a fair division of property agreement—no matter how complex the property.
Division of property can be one of the most contentious and emotional parts of a divorce. The Law Office of Soheila Azizi & Associates P.C. is committed to making this part of the process as simple and straightforward as possible. Call Soheila Azizi & Associates, P.C. at (909) 484-9992 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation today. We are proud to be your law firm for life.