How assets and debts are divided in your marital dissolution proceeding will depend on the facts in your case and your specific financial history. For this reason, it is important to work directly with an attorney who has knowledge and experience in this area rather than relying on information you may find on the Internet.
Our lawyers at Shulman Family Law Group will provide you with a comprehensive assessment of your financial situation. We will clearly explain to you how your assets and/or debts will be divided during your divorce following California’s marital property laws.
Before any assets or debts can be divided, a determination must be made regarding what property is separate and what is community property.
Community property is generally any asset or debt that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Community property is divided equally between the spouses in a California divorce. Separate property is generally any property or debt that was acquired prior to marriage, with separate funds during the marriage, or was acquired by inheritance or gift prior to or during the marriage.
The division of business assets is complex. There are a number of issues that need to be resolved in order to properly divide business assets during a divorce.
Even if you or your spouse started a business prior to marriage, any interest acquired during marriage may be considered community property. This is just one of the many important reasons to consult a lawyer who understands California’s community property laws and can help ensure that you receive a fair division of property during your divorce.
When determining each party’s interest, there are many issues that need to be resolved. These include:
When was the business interest acquired? Was it before or during the marriage?
If during the marriage, what source funds were used to fund the business interests? Were those funds separate or community property?
If before marriage, what interest has the community acquired in that business during the marriage? How should that community interest be divided?
If you owned the business before marriage, you may believe that you alone will retain the business asset after the divorce. This is not correct. By virtue of contributing efforts and labor during the marriage, the community acquires an interest in the property that was started before marriage. Even if you started a business during marriage, the source of funds for that business interest may impact the interest the community has in that business.
When was the student loan debt acquired?
Who should pay for the student loans after a divorce?
Who gets the benefit of the spouse’s new professional license?
This is an example of just one type of debt that a couple can acquire during marriage. Similar — and no less complicated — issues arise when considering all types of debt, from credit card debt to medical bills. When you work with our firm, our attorneys will work diligently to determine what assets and debts are community property and how those will be divided in your divorce.