Community Property Vs. Separate Property in California | What to Know

When couples get divorced in California, they have a lot to consider. As you may know, divorce can be a complicated emotional, legal, and financial process, especially when it comes to the division of assets. California courts recognize two types of property when it comes to divorce: community and separate property. Please continue reading and reach out to an experienced Los Angeles divorce attorney to learn more about the difference between these two types of property and how they may be distributed in your divorce. Here are some of the questions you may have:

What is the difference between community property and separate property in California?

Separate property is a type of property that one spouse obtained prior to or outside of the marriage, such as a gift from a friend, while community property generally encompasses all property acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage. Typically, when a court is tasked with dividing assets in California, separate property is exempt, meaning both spouses can keep their separate properties, while community property will be distributed between both spouses. That said, certain properties that you may believe to be separate property, such as a business that you solely run without your spouse, may indeed be considered community property, thereby entitling your spouse to a portion of your business. With so much at stake, it is critical that you retain the services of a competent Los Angeles property division attorney who can help you fight for what is rightfully yours.

Is there a way to protect my assets from becoming community property?

Fortunately, there are ways to protect your assets from the pitfalls of a divorce. For example, if you are not yet married, you may draft something known as a prenuptial agreement. In this agreement, you can outline exactly what will happen with certain assets, should you ever get divorced. If you’re already married, you can draft a postnuptial agreement, which serves the same purpose. Finally, if you and your spouse own a business together, you can create something known as a shareholder agreement, which will detail each of your interests in the business, should you get divorced. If you have any other questions about the property division process in California, or you are about to get divorced, please do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give us a call today.

Contact our experienced Los Angeles firm

Divorce and family law issues are notoriously complicated and personal, which is why you must hire an attorney with years of experience, as well as the compassion and skill needed to handle these sensitive matters. For the qualified, dedicated legal representation you and your family deserve and need, contact Zitser Family Law Group, APC today.

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