Stockton Divorce Attorneys Manage Complex Marital Property Division
Staunch advocates fighting for your future financial security
At San Joaquin Family Law, we understand the many complexities that arise when spouses try to divide their property in a divorce. But we’re committed to reaching a fair result in a cost-effective manner. We work diligently to negotiate marital settlement agreements that protect your property rights so you have control of the outcome, rather than leaving important decisions to the judge’s discretion. Of course, negotiated solutions are not always possible. When necessary, we try marital property cases aggressively, because we know how important it is for you to finalize your divorce in a way that leaves you financially secure.
Understanding how CA’s community property law impacts your marital estate
Under California’s community property law, the divorce court divides the marital estate equally. It doesn’t matter whether an asset is located in California; as long as either spouse acquired it during the marriage while living in California, the item is generally community property.
However, separate property is not included in the marital estate, so the court does not divide it. Separate property of a married person might include:
- Property owned by the person before marriage
- Property acquired by the person after marriage by gift or inheritance
- The rents or other profits from separate property
- Earnings or accumulations of wealth after the entry of a judgment of legal separation
Another exception to the equal division rule for marital property is a written agreement signed by the parties, as in a prenuptial agreement, a marriage settlement agreement, or an oral stipulation the parties make in open court. Separate property remains the sole possession of the owner.
Complications often arise in the community property process
As you might imagine, there are many questions that arise during property settlement negotiations and litigation, such as:
- Is the prenuptial agreement valid?
- Is one of the parties hiding assets?
- Should both parties be responsible for one spouse’s debt?
- Was certain property acquired before or after the marriage?
- Should a gift or inheritance be treated as community property because the parties understood they were supposed to share it?
It’s vitally important to address all your concerns about property upfront, since you generally cannot come back later and request a post-divorce modification of your marital property settlement. Our family law attorneys negotiate firmly to reach fair, cost-effective settlements. If settlement is not possible, we offer our assessment of how the court is likely to rule, so you can determine your goals for litigation. If you choose to fight, we do everything in our power and your budget to achieve your goals.
Contact marital property attorneys who are willing to fight in Stockton and Manteca
California’s community property laws are not as simple as you might think. To help ensure you achieve a favorable outcome, you need a divorce lawyer who is willing to fight. To schedule a free initial consultation, call San Joaquin Family Law at 209.478.2700 or contact our office online.