The process of divorce can be complex for couples in California, particularly when it comes to dividing property. The state of California is considered a community property state. Therefore, divorcing individuals must equally divide both the debts and the assets they acquired while married when tackling property division during this type of family law proceeding.
There are a couple of property types in the state of California: separate property and community property. Community property has been acquired during the course of a marriage. Meanwhile, separate property may have been acquired prior to the marriage or after two married people have become separated. It can also be acquired by inheritance or gift.
When figuring out how to divide property, a court in the state will consider a wide range of factors, including reimbursement-related rights, rights related to separate property, debt and property value. The value associated with debts and assets can be established through the help of financial experts such as accountants, evaluators and appraisers who work in tandem with a divorce attorney. Forensic accountants can also be consulted when questions about hidden assets crop up.
It can be overwhelming to know where to start when property division is at the center of a divorce proceeding. Examples of assets that must be divided include 401(k) plans, other retirement plans, businesses, investment and bank accounts, vehicles and real property. A qualified attorney may help you reach a fair and mutually beneficial settlement with your spouse at the negotiation table or through the process of mediation, which enables you to avoid court intrusion when splitting assets in California.