Family Residence Issues in San Diego
Divorce is never easy. It can be a time of tremendous stress that upends the lives of everyone involved, with lasting repercussions. If you are going through a divorce, it is critically important to fully understand all of the legal issues involved so that you and your spouse can come to fair and equitable resolution that will allow you both to move on with your lives, and provide security and stability for your children.
Often, one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce proceeding is how to divide communal property, especially as it pertains to residences. Sometimes, couples are able to reach a mutual agreement on how to divide all assets, and there is no dispute that requires contentious litigation. Unfortunately, in many instances, couples find it is difficult to come to a consensus on how to split their jointly held property. Even when two spouses wish to separate amicably, the complicated nature of assessing who should get what requires outside arbitration.
California is one of several states that recognize community property, which is similar to a business arrangement between two parties. According to state law, "Property that a couple acquires during marriage/partnership is 'community property.' And debt that a couple acquires during the marriage/partnership also belongs to the 'community debt.'" Community property is essentially everything that spouses or domestic partners own together, including everything you acquired while you were married or in a domestic partnership (with the exception of gifts or inheritance).
There is also a designation for quasi-community property, which is basically the same as community property, except it covers any residences or property that was acquired while living in a different state. The basic rule of thumb is, if it would have been considered community property in California, than when you move to California, it becomes quasi-community property.
On the other hand, separate property is what you owned before you were married, in addition to inheritances and gifts to one spouse during the marriage. That means that any rent or profit you earn from your separate property is also considered separate property.
As you can imagine, the existence of both community and separate property can make divorce proceedings exceedingly complicated, especially when a single piece of property, like a residence, might be part community property and part separate. This mixing together of community and separate property is called commingling.
For example, if the primary residence of you and your spouse was bought in part with an amount of money that was inherited by only one of you, whereas the rest of the money spent on the residence was considered communal income, then this is commingling.
When you are going through a divorce, trying to divide property that is commingled can be extremely complicated. This is particularly true when it pertains to homes, military pensions, and other large assets. If you want to ensure that you are fully and fairly compensated during your divorce, then you need to seek the counsel of an experienced family lawyer.
Going through a divorce is a difficult process. At Huguenor Mattis, A.P.C., our San Diego divorce lawyers have the experience and resources to ensure you get the professional representation you need to protect your future. Our office's standard of high-quality service means your needs will be met and you can rest assured that your interests and your children are being protected. Contact us today at (858) 458-9500 to schedule a free consultation.
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