In California there is a presumption that all property acquired during the marriage is community property. Parties to a marriage make up the “community,” so all property acquired during the marriage is presumed to belong to both parties equally. However, there are many exceptions to this presumption and the rules are very technical. You may have owned property before the marriage, or received an inheritance during the marriage. Perhaps the house is titled only in one of the parties names. Did a 3rd party give money for a down payment on a property?
Property division is not limited to real property, it also includes household furniture and furnishings, vehicles, boats, trailers, savings & checking accounts, life insurance policies, retirement accounts, IRA’s, 401(k)s, pensions, profit sharing and partnerships just to name a few. Debts are also included in the division of property. If a debt was incurred during the marriage, it is presumed to be community debt that both parties are liable for regardless of who made the purchase. It is important to identify the existence of any possible property issues at the initial stages of your case. Certified Specialist Jennifer Britt is experienced in the technicalities of property division.