Property Division

San Diego Property Division Attorneys 

Protecting Your Hard-Earned Assets in a California Divorce

From child custody to alimony, there can be a lot for couples to worry about in a California divorce. Property division is often a contentious and complex part of marriage dissolution for many families. Fortunately, our experienced lawyers are here to help you navigate the legal intricacies of property and asset distribution.

At Livingstone Law, APC, our property division attorneys have over 27 years of experience representing the best interests of our clients in San Diego and beyond. We understand the heavy financial and emotional toll that divorce and legal separation can take on couples and their loved ones. Our firm is committed to guiding your legal steps with wisdom and clarity.

Preparing for a San Diego divorce? Call (619) 304-0908 to schedule a confidential consultation with an experienced property division attorney.

How Is Property Divided in a California Divorce? 

In a California divorce, property is divided based on the principle of community property. This means that any property acquired during the marriage is generally considered community property and is subject to equal division between spouses.

Separate Property vs. Community Property

As a community property state, California law considers all assets and debts acquired during the marriage to be community property, meaning that such items are subject to property division in a divorce, regardless of whose name is on the title or who made the purchase. Community property can include various assets, such as income earned, real estate properties, vehicles, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings acquired during the marriage.

Understanding the difference between separate property and community property is crucial when it comes to property division in a divorce. Consider the key differences below: 

  • Separate property: Separate property refers to assets and debts acquired before marriage, after the date of separation, or through gifts and inheritances. It also includes any earnings from separate property investments during the marriage. In a California divorce, separate property generally remains with the original owner and is not subject to division. 
  • Community property: Community property includes all assets and debts acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse obtained them. Community property is subject to equal division between both spouses upon divorce.

Exceptions to the Community Property Rule

While California follows the community property rule, there are certain exceptions where specific assets or debts may be treated as separate property, even if acquired during the marriage. Some common exceptions include:

  • Gifts and inheritances: Assets received by one spouse as a gift or inheritance are generally considered separate property. However, if they are commingled with community property or used for the benefit of both spouses, they may lose their separate property character in part or entirely.
  • Property agreements: Spouses can enter into prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that define the characterization and division of specific assets in case of divorce.
  • Transmutation: If spouses agree in writing to change the character of an asset from separate property to community property, or vice versa, it can impact how the asset is divided in a divorce.

What Factors Are Considered During Property Division?

When dividing property in a divorce, family courts can consider a wide array of factors to achieve a fair and equitable distribution. Common factors considered by courts include: 

  • The length of the marriage: The duration of the marriage is typically considered in property division. Longer marriages may result in a more equal distribution of assets.
  • Contribution to the acquisition of assets: The court may assess each spouse's contribution to acquiring, preserving, or enhancing the value of the assets. Contributions can be financial or non-financial, such as homemaking or raising children.
  • Each spouse’s unique needs: Family courts may consider the financial needs of each spouse, such as their ability to earn income and maintain a suitable standard of living.
  • Child custody arrangements: If there are children involved, the court may consider factors like child custody arrangements and parenting plans, awarding more assets or support to the custodial parent.
  • Economic circumstances: Courts may also assess the overall economic circumstances of both spouses, including each person’s earning capacity, education, health, and age.

Hiring a San Diego Property Division Lawyer

When preparing for a divorce, seeking sound counsel from a qualified property division attorney is crucial to protecting what’s rightfully yours. At Livingstone Law, APC, our seasoned advocates have almost three decades of experience representing the best interests of couples undergoing divorces, including high-net-worth divorces

Securing experienced representation from a knowledgeable lawyer is imperative to protecting your hard-earned assets in California. Our firm can assist with: 

  • Legal knowledge: Your lawyer can apply their in-depth knowledge of California's community property laws and explain how they apply to your specific situation, empowering you to make informed decisions during your case. 
  • Asset evaluation: An attorney can help assess the value of assets, including real estate, investments, retirement accounts, business interests, and personal property, to ensure a fair and accurate division.
  • Identifying separate property: Our property division attorneys can analyze financial records to identify assets that may be considered separate property, shielding them from division.
  • Hidden asset detection: If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, our lawyers can employ investigative techniques to uncover any hidden or undisclosed property and hold your partner accountable. 
  • Effective negotiation: Our lawyers don’t shy away from litigation. We can negotiate on your behalf to reach a fair settlement outside the courtroom if needed.
  • Litigation representation: If your case goes to court, our lawyers can provide strong representation by presenting compelling evidence and advocating for your best interests.
  • Debt allocation: Our dedicated attorneys can assist in determining how marital debts, such as mortgages, loans, and credit card debt, should be divided between spouses.
  • Tax implications: Property division can have complex tax consequences. Our compassionate advocates can help you understand the various tax implications involved in property settlement options, empowering you to make informed decisions in your unique circumstances.
  • Protecting your rights: Your lawyer can protect your rights throughout the property division process to ensure you receive a fair share of the marital assets.

Compassionate Counsel for San Diego Couples

Our reliable attorneys at Livingstone Law, APC have prioritized the needs of San Diego couples and families since 1996, equipping us with invaluable knowledge and a diverse skillset to represent your best interests in family court. From child support to marital agreements, our firm has a proven track record of results in various family law disputes. You can count on our advocates to evaluate your unique needs while guiding your legal steps from start to finish, working tirelessly to achieve the favorable outcome you deserve.

Our seasoned lawyers have represented San Diego couples since 1996. Contact us online to discuss your case!


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