What is Community Property?
Santa Clarita, CA Divorce Lawyer
For a couple choosing to bring their marriage to an end, they will not be able to do so without first covering a number of areas regarding their lives together. Aspects such as finances, child custody and other personal areas will all come up and need to be addressed. One of these areas includes how to divvy up the property that a couple shares. Depending on the length of a marriage, it is common that a couple has continued to mold their lives together, to the point that it can be challenging to take them apart. It can be left up to the couple to determine how they want to determine many aspects of their divorce, but when they are unable to, the court will decide.
A Community Property State
One of the areas though that is covered under state law is in regards to property division How do you decide what belongs to each party when they had different contributions and they shared the items? One spouse may have worked more but the other spouse could have made contributions that just didn't come with a financial reward. Should that leave them without any of the couple's assets? The state government has taken all of these factors into consideration and determined the way they think best to make a judgment call. Not all states are the same and some run off of a different system. In the state of California, the community property model is used. Not only that, but the state is known for being one of the stricter ones, following a closer 50/50 divide of property.
Separate and Community Property
Community property looks at what a couple owns as both of theirs, regardless of who have attributed to it more financially. This incorporates all marital property; that is the property that was gained while the couple was married. In this model, everything will be divided into separate property and community property. The guidelines can vary depending on each case as to what should be put in each category. Generally, separate property is that which was acquired prior to marriage or was gained by one of the spouse's during the marriage as a gift or through inheritance. Community property is generally everything else that was acquired by the couple or either of the spouse's individually during the time they were married.
Advantages and Disadvantages
This system can come with various pros and cons that will be different in each case. For some people, this can be a huge plus since the contributions they had may not have a monetary value. This can be seen when a parents remains home with children, while the other one works. They both took part in supporting their lives, just in different ways. Some states are not as quick to consider both parties and can leave those that did not make as much monetarily at a disadvantage, so there are benefits that can come along with having a divorce take place in California.
For others, this can be a disadvantage when they are the ones that built up the assets they have and now are seeing their hard work divided and half of it given to someone else. Depending on either situation, it is important to look out for your best interests and that includes trying to establish property as either separate or community property. There are different factors involved and the court can choose to divide this up depending on how strong a case you make. As a Santa Clarita divorce lawyer, I am well acquainted with the different aspects of these cases and have aided many clients to find a favorable solution.