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How are assets divided during divorce in California?
Property division during divorce in California is conducted according to community property rules. California is a community property state which means that properly is owned 50-50 by a couple and will be divided 50-50 if they divorce. It can be helpful for divorcing couples to understand what this looks like during a divorce.
Community property division refers to the division of marital property when a couple decides to divorce. Marital property generally includes income, property and assets acquired by the couple during marriage. It is contrasted from separate property which is typically not subject to the property division process. Separate property is property that one of the spouses entered the marriage with and commonly includes inheritances, gifts, personal injury awards and some other types of property. Property can also fall into a third category of property referred to as commingled property which divorcing couples in California should also be aware of.
Examples of property can include homes, cars, furniture, clothing and other types of property such as bank accounts and cash, pension plans, retirement plans, 401k plans, stocks, life insurance that has a cash value, patents, a security deposit on an apartment or a business. All of these types of property could be considered community property and subject to the property division process.
The property division process can get complex. Because there may be a variety of complexities associated with dividing the couple’s assets, it is essential for divorcing couples to understand the property division process so they can protect their interests during it.