Property Division

All community property must be distributed in a way that is fair and equal

California Property Division Laws

Counsel from Southern California Divorce Lawyers

California is a community property state, which means that each spouse will be awarded half of the marital assets and half of the marital debt. California’s rules of property division are less flexible than the laws in many other states. Still, an experienced and creative divorce attorney can find room for negotiation and strategic financial planning.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

  • In California, property is presumed to be community property if it is acquired during the marriage.
  • By contrast, inheritances, gifts by bequest or devise, and any property obtained prior to the marriage or after the date of separation are generally considered separate property.

Separate property can also become marital property under certain circumstances. For instance, if you used inheritance money to put your spouse through graduate school or to remodel your shared home, the inheritance has become commingled with marital property, losing its separate property designation.

Assets that will need to be factored into a property division settlement:
  • Homes
  • Cars
  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Furnishings
  • Bank Accounts
  • Businesses
  • Stocks
  • Pension Plans
  • IRAs
  • Investment Options
  • Debts