How Is Property and Debt Divided Up in a Divorce?
Going through a divorce can be a traumatic, life-altering event. It is easy to become overwhelmed by all of the important decisions that must be made and the intense emotions that come with them. Do not rush through these decisions, but carefully consider each step of the process because mistakes can have a lasting impact on your future and the future of your family.
One of the most common questions that we deal with on a daily basis concerns how property and assets will get divided up during divorce proceedings.
California is what is known as a no-fault divorce state. This means that either spouse can file for divorce without needing to prove the other has committed misconduct. According to the State’s community property laws, all of a couple’s property that was acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, and must be divided evenly between them.
How to Best Divide Assets
Dividing a couple’s assets can be quite difficult, and many factors must be considered. Besides the obvious monetary value of the property, other concerns include tax liability, the value of pensions and insurance policies, and other complicated financial issues. In some cases, one spouse may attempt to hide property or wealth from the other one, so as to keep it from being included in the divorce proceedings.
That is why one of the first steps in dividing up a couple’s community property is conducting a careful assessment of exactly what everything is worth. This way, the court will be able to make a fair division for both parties. When dividing up the property, the court will also look at the relative earning power of each spouse, and what type of custody arrangements have been decided for any children.
One more detail that most people overlook is any debt that belongs to the couple. Things like credit card debt and financial liabilities for jointly owned businesses must be divided fairly and evenly just the same as community property. However, just because a couple has decided to divide debt evenly doesn’t mean the creditor must honor the agreement. If your spouse fails to make a payment, you could be held responsible.
When You Need Divorce Help
Divorces can be complicated and emotionally devastating. Having an impartial community property expert on your side who has your best interests at heart can go a long way toward securing your family’s future. Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C. has represented San Diego families in complex family law cases since 1975. Call (858) 458-9500 today to schedule a free consultation.