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What should divorcing couples know about property division?

When filing for divorce in California, both parties should be aware of the definition of community property. This consists of property and financial assets that were acquired during the marriage. The assets are owned by both parties regardless of who actually bought the assets. As a result, both parties are entitled to an equal share of community property.

Do all states have community property laws?

Community property only applies to states with community property laws, like California. In other states, a judge may decide how the property is divided during the divorce. In either case, gifts and inheritance are not considered community property. However, debts are considered community property and may be subject to property division.

What about assets like retirement funds?

Accumulated assets like retirement funds are still considered community property. If one spouse makes more money than the other, laws like these can keep the other spouse from going broke after the divorce. Community property laws were drafted with the idea that all partners contribute equally to the marriage. While one spouse might contribute more financial assets, the other might take care of household chores and raise the children. As a result, both partners are entitled to an equal share during the divorce.

Where can couples go for assistance with property division?

Working with an attorney might make the asset division process easier on both parties. An attorney may be able to educate their client about state laws, help them figure out how to fairly divide their property, offer advice on maintaining certain assets and help them navigate third-party contracts like mortgages. The attorney may also be able to help their client negotiate a fair agreement that divides up their property without sacrificing any necessities. A legal professional might help keep the process civil and amicable.