A Refresher on What’s Mine vs What’s Ours: Separate and Marital Property in CA

Pleasanton CA family law attorneyWhile our clients don’t exactly enjoy their divorce proceedings, the process of asset division is often the biggest headache for most people. Nobody wants to end up on the short end of the stick, but without a prenuptial agreement in place, most property will simply be divided between both parties.

There are some exceptions to this, and the main debate in most disputes within this area center on one question: what falls under marital property vs separate property? For this post, we’re offering a definition of what each property type consists of. Of course, no two divorces are the same. For specific legal advice, don’t delay in reaching out to a qualified family law attorney in CA.

Marital Property

As California is a community property state, most marital property is automatically divided evenly between both parties. Marital property describes any assets, objects, property, and other forms of wealth acquired after the marriage was established. Furthermore, if a person “co-mingles” his/her separate property into a joint account, it automatically becomes community property.

Exceptions to this can include gifts received from people other than your spouse, inheritances, and more.

Separate Property

Separate property is not subject to being divided during asset division, and pretty much includes anything that was acquired before either party got married. Under California law, separate property can also apply to property or assets that were accumulated after both parties were separated but before the divorce was finalized.

Of course, neither label is set in stone and both parties can choose to move assets in or out of community property. This has to be done in writing however, and not all agreements will be automatically accepted by family law courts.

Consult with A Divorce Attorney in CA Today

This is a very basic view of how asset division works in California, and how the state distinguishes between separate property and community/marital property. As always, if you have specific questions or are looking for the help of a qualified divorce attorney, don’t hesitate to call us at the LAw Office of James P. White.

Reach out to us at 925-271-0999 to schedule a free initial consultation.