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Property Division

Community Property Law

Regardless of where the marriage took place, divorces that are filed in the state of California are governed by the concept known as “community property division.” (Unless a valid prenuptial agreement provides otherwise)

According to California community property law, with only minor exceptions, all assets and debt acquired from the date of marriage until the date of separation is characterized as community property and subject to equal division as between the husband and wife.

Methods of Division of Community Property

Community property and community debt can be divided “in kind” or not “in kind.” “In kind” division basically means that a particular asset and/or debt is literally divided down the middle. Obviously it is not always possible to divide every asset down the middle unless the asset is sold. It is quite common in divorce cases for the parties to distribute assets according to the interests of the parties and to equalize unequal division with an “equalization payment.” A good example of this would be if one spouse wanted to keep the community residence. Assuming that the residence had equity, the spouse retaining the residence would owe to the “out spouse” an equalization equal to one half the total community interest in the property. This equalization could be traded off against other assets like retirement accounts, investment accounts, or cash on hand.

Claims for Reimbursement

Often parties will come into the marriage with significant separate property assets. Sometimes these assets are used to add to or to acquire property after the marriage. In a case where pre-marital separate property is used to add to or to help acquire a community property asset, when the parties divide that asset upon separation, the spouse bringing the separate property into the relationship is entitled to reimbursement dollar for dollar for the separate property used to improve or to acquire the community property. There are many other types of reimbursement provided for in a California Divorce Case. In complex high asset cases there could be complex webs of reimbursement claims that should be carefully analyzed by an expert California divorce lawyer.

If you are considering a divorce or have questions regarding the division of your marital estate upon separation or divorce call the attorneys at Griffith, Young & Lass for a free consultation at 858-345-1720

For more property division related questions click here

Meet Your Dedicated San Diego Family Attorneys
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS
Family Attorney John N. Griffith, CFLS

Family Attorney, John N. Griffith, CFLS

John Griffith has practiced exclusively in the area of family law since 2009. John is a Certified Family Law Specialist certified as an expert in the area of family law by the California Board of Legal Specialization.

858-345-1720
john@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.
Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

Family Attorney, Catie E. Young, ESQ.

San Diego family lawyer Catie Young has a wide range of litigation experience. She has worked in civil litigation. She has successfully represented clients in many areas of family law including child support, child custody, divorce and domestic violence. She has a unique approach to each child custody case, so clients of Griffith, Young & Lass tend to gravitate toward her in these cases.

858-345-1720
catie@gylfamilylaw.com

Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.
Family Attorney Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Family Attorney, Amy J. Lass, Esq.

Amy Lass was born in New York and raised in San Diego, California. Amy graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2003 with a B.S. in Economics with a concentration in Enterprise Accounting and went on to earn her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and graduated cum laude in 2006. Amy takes a practical and cost considerate approach to the process while striving to balance the emotional needs and objectives of her clients.

858-345-1720
amy@gylfamilylaw.com

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The Typical Divorce Process in California
Discovery of Assets & Obligations (1-3 months)
1 Complaint for Divorce Filed Start of litigation
2 Complaint is Served Varies, but usually shortly after the complaint is filed
3 Answer to Complaint Due 30 days from the date of service
4 Mediation Anytime, but usually after initial discovery
5 Temporary Hearing Usually early in the process
6 Late Case Evaluation / Judicial Hosted Settlement Conference Usually near the end of the case
7 Trial (If Needed) The goal is to settle, but if your case goes to trial, it could take months after the start of litigation.
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