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Division of Assets During Divorce

How CA Divides Property Following Divorce

Whether you are seeking to divide your assets with your spouse out of court or are looking to pursue litigation, it is imperative you retain the services of a skilled Santa Clara County attorney to protect your rights and maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome. At Magdalena Law Group, our knowledgeable San Jose lawyers understand the difficulty of your situation and can help simplify this process on your behalf. Having earned a 10.0 Superb Avvo Rating and a ranking among the “Nation’s Top One Percent” of attorneys by National Association of Distinguished Council for our unmatched advocacy, we can provide the strong guidance you need to sort through this complex process with ease.

Community vs. Separate Property in CA

One of the main steps in dividing assets during divorce involves determining whether or not property is martial or separate. While many erroneously assume that all assets are community property, some assets such as property that was owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired by inheritance during the marriage is that spouse’s individual separate property and cannot be claimed by the other spouse.

Separate property can also include:

  • Property that was purchased with separate property
  • Property acquired before divorce but after separation

Separate property can sometimes be inadvertently converted to community property if it is combined or “comingled” with marital property. For example, a spouse’s individual savings account can become community property if the other spouse deposits money into it during the marriage. Likewise, a separately owned house can become community property if both spouses pay its mortgage and other associated expenses.

How is Property Divided in a Divorce?

California divides property using the community property model. This means that marital property, that was acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation, is generally divided equally between the spouses. Marital property generally includes any earnings accumulated during the marriage, real properties purchased during the marriage, vehicles and boats, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement, interests in businesses, interests in stock options, restricted stock units ("RSUs"), employee stock purchase plans ("ESPPs"), income from patents, frequent flyer miles, and other assets or properties accumulated in a marriage.

Each spouse typically gets to keep his or her separate property that was acquired before the date of marriage, after the date of separation, through gift or inheritance given to only one spouse, or by using separate property income. Of course, there are exceptions to these rules and you should consult one of our experienced attorneys to get individualized legal advice that is specific to your situation.

Retain Powerful Divorce Advocacy Today

Dividing assets can be an extremely complex aspect of divorce and can expose spouses to numerous pitfalls without proper legal support. Our firm’s Santa Clara County lawyers can help you properly categorize and value your property, protecting your from costly errors that could lead you to inadvertently lose your right to your assets. From assigning the monetary values of assets to deciding how your assets will be divided, we can handle the legal heavy lifting on your behalf so you can rest easy during this emotional time.

Call (408) 601-4439 or contact our office online to discuss your situation with one of our knowledgeable San Jose property division attorneys today.

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Hear from Our Former Clients

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    Former Client

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  • “Towards the end changes in my life threw my case a few curve balls but she stayed patient with me and won my case.”


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  • “Made the divorce process so simple and less emotional! She was quick to respond to any questions or concerns I had.”