PROPERTY DIVISION

California is a community property state. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property acquired during marriage and before separation is community property. Exceptions include gifts and inheritance. Absent valid agreement, community property is divided equally between the parties in a divorce.

Property acquired before marriage and after separation is separate property.

Division can become complex when, for instance, one or both parties have a pension or other retirement accounts, stock options, or their own business. Family law provides a number of rules, both in cases and statutes, that govern division of property in a divorce. While the title in which the property is held creates a presumption regarding whether it is community property or separate property, it may not be determinative. Family law may require a family lawyer to look at the time of acquisition, whether any agreements regarding ownership exist, whether one party was advantaged by a change in title, the method of acquisition and/or the source of funds. For a consultation, contact our San Jose office at 408/975-9500.