Because California is a community property state, almost all assets and debt accumulated during a marriage are regarded as marital property. Therefore, properties are shared equally between the parties in the case of a divorce—unless previously legally agreed otherwise.

Let's look at what our prescreened California family law attorneys have to say about marital property division in Los Angeles:

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Community And Sole Property And How They Play Into California Law

Under California law, examples of assets that are typically regarded as communal property include:

  • Either spouse's earnings and income during the marriage
  • Profits from investments during the marriage
  • Purchases made throughout the marriage (i.e., homes, furnishings, cars, etc.)
  • Debt racked up during the marriage

Some assets, such as those obtained by either spouse before marriage, may not fall within the community property definition. In addition, due to co-mingling or spouse contributions during the marriage, other property may be deemed "partial" community property, resulting in complex property partition negotiations during a divorce.

It's crucial to have a California divorce lawyer help you go through your list of assets, identify their classification, and determine what is rightfully yours.

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How Is Marital Property Divided In California Divorce Law?

Only assets or property deemed "marital property" or "community property" in California are subject to partition in a divorce lawsuit. This means that certain separately owned assets acquired during the marriage and any property possessed by either spouse before marriage are exempt.

Due to contributions from the other spouse or asset co-mingling, particular individual property may be deemed "partial community property" or even totally ruled community property, resulting in complex property partition circumstances.

Hence, it's crucial that you can identify which properties can be shared and which are yours alone. If you need help with this complicated step, consult with a prescreened California divorce lawyer to help you.

What Does The Court Consider In California Property Division?

In assessing an equitable distribution of property between spouses, the court in California is not required to take a specified list of considerations into account. This implies that courts have discretion when deciding what elements to consider in each unique property partition case.

Does California Consider A Spouse's Contributions To Their Partner's Education?

According to California law, a spouse's contribution to their partner's education throughout a marriage may be taken into account by the court. A California judge can consider these contributions when deciding how to divide marital property if one spouse provided the other with support (financially or otherwise) and made it possible for them to pursue school or other skills that boosted their earning potential.

Does A Prenuptial Agreement Affect The Division Of Assets In California?

A prenuptial agreement, often known as a prenup, is a legally enforceable document both partners must sign in California before getting hitched. A prenuptial agreement can supersede California's property division regulations by defining what counts as separate vs. marital property and how finances will be organized during the marriage and distributed in the event of a divorce.

If a prenuptial agreement is in place and is legally enforceable, the California court may not have the authority to divide the parties' assets in any way other than how both parties have mutually agreed upon before the event.

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