Legal Help for Property Division Cases in Redding
In California, assets and debts acquired during marriage are (generally) "community property." Assets acquired during the marriage through time, effort, or skill are owned equally by both the husband and wife. Loans taken out during the marriage are usually also community, even if the asset or debt is only held in one spouse's name. Community property is generally divided equally, although the parties can agree to an unequal division in settlement.
"Separate property" is property owned by one spouse before the marriage, inheritance, money saved before the marriage, or gifts received during the marriage. These assets are the recipient spouse’s separate property, not community property. Student loans are the "separate" debt of whichever spouse incurred the loan, even if the loan was acquired during the marriage. There are other exceptions.
Where one spouse contributed money he or she had before the marriage, or funds received from an inheritance or other separate property source, to an asset acquired during the marriage, complicated issues may arise. Generally, if one spouse contributes separate property to the acquisition of an asset during the marriage, that spouse is entitled to be reimbursed. This can involve issues of proof, conflicting legal presumptions regarding how title to the property is held, tracing, characterization, and division.
The issues surrounding California community property are some of the most complicated and difficult to understand as part of a divorce or legal separation. Before planning to divide your assets, you should seek the legal advice of an experienced family law lawyer, who can provide you with information as to how your marital property would be divided if your case was to court to trial.