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California Property Division: Who Gets What After a Divorce?

California Property Division: Who Gets What After a Divorce?

California divorce cases can be complex. Though this is a community property state in which both spouse tend to get half of the property obtained during the marriage, there exceptions and situations that make these rules more complicated. Read on to get the basics but reach out to a family law attorney if you want to find out more about how your specific case is likely to go.

What exactly is a community property state?

Even if you know that California is a community property state, you may not know the specifics of what that means when it comes to divorce cases. In short, it means that all marital property (which his property obtained during the marriage) is legally owned half and half by both spouses. As a result, when it comes time for divorce, each spouse gets half.

Property eligible for a 50/50 split

Anything that’s obtained during the marriage should be split 50/50. This may make it seem simple but that all depends on the parties involved. For example, if you obtained goods during the marriage that have sentimental value, how do you value that? What if you obtained a pet or several pets? Like it or not, the state of California considers pets to be property and it is treated as such. You cannot split a dog 50 / 50 and it is hard to put a monetary value on it. So what do you do?

Your attorney will work to get you half of what you are owed

In the example above, the dog would go to one spouse in exchange for something the other spouse wanted. Perhaps they wanted the better car in the divorce, and were willing to give up the dog to get it. The key is to have an attorney who can successfully negotiate to get you what you deserve. If both sides can’t come to an agreement, and if there is no pre-nuptial agreement to follow, then a divorce court judge will have to make a ruling about who gets what.

You need your own attorney

No matter how amicable your divorce seems, you need to have your own attorney. The reality is that almost any divorce is going to involve compromise. There are going to be some things you don’t want to give up that you are simply going to have to give up. When you have your own attorney, you can be assured that they have nothing but your best interests in mind. On the other hand, if you share an attorney with your soon-to-be-ex spouse, you will never be 100% sure that the attorney in question is really on your side.

If you are ready to find out more about your specific case and what may work best for you then we urge you to contact Law Offices of Torrence L. Howell at (909) 920-0908. We are happy to begin with a free legal consultation so that you have a better idea of what your options are. Call today!


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My ex-wife hired an attorney which prompted me to do so for our divorce. Torrence Howell was highly recommended from a friend of mine who used Torrence’s services for a divorce just like mine. The results came out much better than he ever thought it would. With all things being equal I felt Torrence would

-Anonymous May 23, 2018

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