Property Division Attorney Serving Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles, and all of Los Angeles County
California considers virtually all property acquired by one spouse during a marriage to be community property. Unlike many other states, this can even include gifts and inheritances left to an individual spouse. In a divorce, community property is divided as nearly as equally as possible.
Determining Community vs. Separate Property
The first step in a property division case is to determining what assets should be considered community property. Generally, for property to be considered separate, it must have been owned before the marriage, treated as separate during the marriage, and not improved using marital assets. In situations where one spouse owned a house before the marriage and both worked to renovate it, bank accounts were combined, or both spouses started working at a business one had already started, the court will often determine the property to be community property.
Handling the Property Division
In a property division case, it’s important to consider more than just the current dollar value when dividing debts and assets. Interest rates, tax consequences, and transaction costs if an asset needs to be converted to cash should also be taken into account. Debts, such as mortgages, credit cards, or car loans, that were held jointly need to be properly transferred so that only one spouse remains legally responsible for making payments.
If you’re looking for an experienced family law attorney to help you with property division, contact the Law Office of Michelle L. Kazadi. We serve the Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica, Westwood, West Los Angeles and all of Los Angeles County.