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In California, property division during a divorce is regulated by community property laws. This states that all the property, assets and debts earned by either spouse during the marriages are known to community property and are to be equally divided between both the spouses, regardless of who earned it or who owns the title. However, there are few exceptions to this law, such as gifts and property acquired prior the marriage, by inheritance or through a prenuptial agreement are considered as the separate property.
What Is Community Property?
Community property refers to the legal mechanism used for married couples in Ventura. Basically, it is the property that any of the spouses earns during the marriage and is owned equally by both the spouses. This states that at the time of the divorce both the partners will be given equal share of all the property.
Tips To Follow While Handling Property Division In A Divorce
At the initial stage of the divorce, start making the list of all community property by enlisting all the assets and debt acquired during the marriage. This should include real estate, personal property, bank accounts, retirement funds and credit card amounts. Then hire an appraiser to identify the value of the community property as the division is impossible without knowing the exact value of the property. For the next step, try to calmly decide the methods of division to avoid any sort of dispute, after doing so, file the divorce papers in the court along with the property division agreements. Then, the court will provide a legal order that you will have to strictly follow.
Division Of The House In California Divorce
A houses during the divorce is allocated under two factors, if the house is a separate property it will be given to the owner, but if the house is a community property it will be divided by any of the following ways:
Sell and Divide Profits/Losses
This is the solution that comes when both the spouses are unable to afford a house individually. They decide to sell the community house and divide the amount.
This option gives a chance to a spouse to take full ownership of the house by buying it and paying off the share that belongs to the other spouse, i.e. buyout. The determination of the ownership affordability is considered by the following factors:
- Monthly mortgage payment
Spouses Stay on Title
If the couple has a minor child at the time of divorce, the law orders the ‘deferred sale of home’. This refers to the delay in the sale of a home on a temporary basis. Deferred sale is structured in different ways as per the needs of the family. The basic purpose of this idea is to keep the child away from the impacts of divorce by allowing him to stay in the house for a longer period of time. This gives the sense of stability and safety to the minor. However, deferred sale is not the best solution for every family and the pre-discussed agreement should be made. It would be beneficial to contact one of the top Ventura law firms specializing in the field of family law to understand the pros and cons of the deferred sale.
No matter the disposition of the home, while evaluating the interest of the each spouse’s home, the court will consider whether each spouse is entitled to the reimbursement from the other under the following scenarios:
- Community paid funds for separate property
- Mortgage payments after divorce
- Charges for exclusive use
Co-owned Community Property After Divorce
Spouses can continue to co-own community property even after the divorce. It comes into action under the terms of an agreement. The law does not oblige the spouses to sell or buyout the other spouse. But, if any such thing happens there should be a clear order for the ownership. To make sure the proper co-ownership is given to each spouse, try to consult a lawyer.
Is It Important To Divide Property as 50/50?
The rule of community property division is 50/50 as per the law of California. But you are not bound to follow these rules under a prenuptial agreement before the marriage which determines which property and income belongs to each party. Such as, the couple can decide that one spouse will keep the family house while the other will acquire other assets. In case of the agreements that are harmless, the judge signs off from the division of property.
Call a family lawyer at Hartley Lamas Et Al for guidance for the conflict of property division followed by the court or any other family law matter. Call us or visit our office to book an appointment with our experts and get freedom from the family law matters.