Santa Barbara Attorney Assists with Property Division During Divorce
Help with the difficult task of dividing debts and assets in divorce
When divorce forces couples to divide property, assets and debts, the goal is achieving a fair and equitable settlement for both parties. The determination of an equitable settlement, how best to distribute debts, assets and property, can be a daunting task. At McCleary (Mac) H. Sanborn, III, Attorney at Law I have the experience and skill to help you divide assets, saving you time, money and stress.
Answers to your property division questions
Deciding to dissolve your marriage or domestic partnership is difficult enough. Deciding how to divide what you once owned together is even harder. You’re likely to have a number of questions when it comes to asset division — some of the most common ones may be:
- What kinds of debts and assets get divided? — During a divorce, the court makes decisions about how to divide property obtained by the spouses during the marriage. Property includes anything that can be bought or sold and that has financial value: houses, cars, bank accounts, stocks and pensions. Similarly, any debt acquired during the partnership is considered to be shared debt and will be divided during divorce
- How is asset division in a divorce decided? — The goal when dividing assets in a divorce is to reach an arrangement that divides everything fairly. This is usually done through a balance of debts and assets so that each party receives a fairly equal net share
- How are assets not listed in a prenuptial distributed? — When property division is not detailed in a premarital agreement, any shared property or debts will be divided equally between spouses
- How is retirement or pension divided? — Retirement or pension funds are treated the same as any other asset. If the funds are determined to be shared property, they will be divided equally between partners during the divorce
Understanding how California’s asset division laws affect you
California is a community property state, which means that each partner in the marriage owns half of the shared property and is also responsible for half of the shared debt. In a California divorce, community property and debt is usually equally distributed. I help you understand the different types of property in a marriage and how that property is divided during divorce:
- Community property — This is property obtained through the efforts of each spouse or partner including earnings and debt during the marriage
- Quasi-community property — This refers to any property acquired by a spouse outside of California. Because California is a community property state, these assets are treated as community property in a divorce
- Separate property — Separate property includes property and debts obtained before the marriage or partnership began, or by gift or inheritance after the marriage. This also includes any property purchased with separate funds during the marriage or partnership. This property is not shared and divided during divorce
- Mixed community and separate property commingling — When property is a combination of community and separate property, it is referred to as commingled property. A common example of commingled property is a pension plan from a job held by a partner before and during the marriage. A trusted lawyer is highly advised for dividing this type of property
In divorce, couples often disagree about which assets count as community property, and they may value property differently. As your attorney, I act as a powerful financial mediator to help you divide your debts and assets fairly and quickly.