Family Law Overview
Personal Service | Individual Attention
Oceanside Property Division Attorney
One of the most important issues to cover in any divorce case is property division, or the disbursement of a married couple’s shared property in divorce. California upholds strict laws when it comes to property division in divorce, and the community property statute of the state dictates that each spouse should receive 50% of marital property in divorce. An Oceanside property division lawyer is an essential ally if you are preparing for divorce proceedings and have concerns about how property division will play out in your case.
If you are bracing for divorce proceedings, the right Oceanside property division attorney will help you understand your legal options more clearly and help you navigate your legal proceedings with confidence. Paula D. Kleinman offers compassionate, detail-oriented representation to clients who need legal counsel for divorce cases in the Oceanside, CA area.
Why Do I Need an Attorney?
Property division questions can be very complicated in some divorce cases, and California’s strict community property statutes cause many divorcing couples complex headaches that may require professional legal scrutinization. Hiring an Oceanside property division lawyer to assist in your case means you do not need to worry about procedural errors or paperwork mistakes interfering with your case proceedings.
Your attorney will help you prepare for all of your legal proceedings and ultimately assist you in ensuring a fair outcome to your property division determination. While you might think you could handle property division proceedings on your own, it is highly likely that you will encounter difficult financial questions and other issues you cannot handle on your own. Hiring an attorney strengthens your position in divorce proceedings, so be sure to consult with an Oceanside property division attorney as soon as possible as you begin your divorce process.
Why Choose Paula D. Kleinman?
When you need legal counsel to assist you with your divorce case, choose an attorney with a solid track record of successful cases that are similar to your own. Paula D. Kleinman offers more than 20 years of professional experience as an Oceanside property division attorney with many successful cases behind her and her legal team.
Should you choose Paula D. Kleinman to represent you in your divorce case, you can expect personalized attention to the details of your case and a comprehensive assessment of all the legal options before you. Facing divorce is rarely easy but choosing the right Oceanside property division attorney to represent you can make the process much easier.
Can My Wife Take Everything in a Divorce?
It’s not uncommon for divorcing spouses to have concerns about property division. California’s community property statute exists to ensure all community property in a marriage is divided as close to 50/50 as possible, regardless of the reason for the divorce. If you are concerned that your spouse will get everything out of your divorce in Oceanside, this is not the case. You and your spouse are each entitled to receive 50% of your marital property at the conclusion of your divorce. While this may sound straightforward, marital assets are rarely easily divisible in half; it is often necessary to liquidate certain assets and exchange assets of equivalent value in most California divorce cases.
Divorcing spouses may only receive 50% of the marital property each. However, they both have the right to retain ownership over separately owned property. This is an important distinction, and only certain types of properties and assets may qualify as separate property. It is also possible for one spouse’s separate property to transmute to community property under certain conditions. For example, say you owned a home worth $300,000 before marrying. If your spouse moved in and assisted in renovations and remodeling, their efforts could increase the value of the house. In divorce proceedings, they would have a valid claim to their contribution toward increasing the home’s property value, potentially transmuting the home to community property.
How Do You Separate Assets When Separating?
It’s natural to have many questions about property division in divorce proceedings. Typically, property division proceedings begin once the initial divorce petition is filed. Both divorcing spouses and their attorneys will conduct rigorous fact-finding to gather financial records and other documentation. This evidence, which may include invoices, receipts, ownership deeds, and other financial records, is used to establish each divorcing spouse’s separate property rights and the community property to be divided in divorce proceedings.
Separate property generally includes assets owned by one of the spouses prior to entering the marriage, inheritances from relatives, and gifts. All assets and income acquired by the spouses during the course of their marriage, including real estate, employment income, investment dividends, and all other property, become community property for the purposes of divorce. If you believe that a certain piece of property is your own separate property, but your spouse is arguing for community property distribution, call our firm. Your Oceanside property division lawyer can help you determine whether you have evidence to establish your separate ownership rights.
The actual process of dividing community property generally comes down to two methods: the couple will divide assets of equivalent value, but anything they cannot agree to trade must be liquidated. The proceeds of liquidated marital property are then equally divided between the divorcing spouses. For example, if a married couple’s home is community property and neither is willing to allow the other to remain in the home following divorce, the court may order the home sold. Then each divorcing spouse would receive 50% of the proceeds.
Is My Partner Entitled to Half My Assets?
It is a common misconception that divorcing means giving half of everything you own to your soon-to-be ex-spouse. This is due to the common conflation of community property and separate property. Yes, your partner is entitled to half of the marital assets you both acquired during your marriage, but they are not entitled to half of your separate property. An experienced Oceanside property division lawyer is your best asset when you need to establish clear separate ownership rights over particular assets.
Why Moving Out Is the Biggest Mistake in a Divorce
When a marriage breaks down to the point that the married couple is preparing to divorce, it is not uncommon for them to want as much distance as possible between them. However, if you choose to move out of your marital home before your divorce is finalized, you are putting yourself at a major disadvantage, especially if you have children. It would be relatively easy for your spouse to accuse you of abandoning your family or refusing to provide household services for your children. They could also argue that your willingness to move out indicates your willingness to give up your ownership claim on the home.
When a divorcing spouse moves out of their home before legal proceedings finish, this establishes a new status quo that a judge may transfer into a temporary child custody and support order. Even if you do not have children, moving out too soon could leave you obligated to assist in paying your spouse’s living expenses, at least for the duration of your divorce case. Ultimately, you have no obligation to leave your home before your divorce finalizes if your name is on the mortgage or lease.
What Counts as Community Property in a California Divorce?
The term “community property” refers to all of the property and assets gained by a married couple from the time they are married until the time at which they begin divorce proceedings. Community property typically applies to major purchases like real estate, vehicles, and expensive items like artwork. The term also applies to all the income earned by the spouses while married, even if they held their jobs before marrying.
Once married partners comingle their assets, those assets functionally become community property for the purposes of divorce proceedings. If you are unclear about whether a certain asset could qualify as community property in divorce, ask an Oceanside property division attorney for their thoughts.
Commonly Asked Questions About Property Division in CA Divorces
Divorces happen for many different reasons. It is vital to know the answers to some of the most common questions people have about the property division process in a California divorce.
Q: Will my spouse receive less community property if they cheated on me?
A: California does not require a spouse to identify a fault or wrongdoing on the part of their spouse to justify filing for divorce. A couple may file for divorce on the grounds of irreconcilable differences, and the court does not acknowledge personal slights as reason enough to deny community property distribution. The only instances in which a divorcing spouse may lose community property rights is if they abused their spouse, committed any other form of domestic violence, or is incarcerated for criminal behavior.
Q: How will me and my spouse’s debts influence community property division?
A: California considers marital debts in the same vein as marital property when it comes to property division in divorce. Married spouses are responsible for debts they acquire during a marriage unless one spouse can prove the other intentionally wasted community property funds or purposefully drained a shared account. Such behavior may lead to a community property determination that is not exactly 50/50.
Q: Will me and my spouse need to litigate property division in our divorce?
A: Many divorcing couples choose alternative dispute resolution to avoid the time and expense required of litigation, and mediation is typically the preferred option. It is possible for divorcing spouses to negotiate property division privately in divorce mediation. A mediator will assist them in answering complex financial questions and ensuring their negotiations align with state law. However, very complicated property division issues may require litigation. High net worth divorce cases often require extensive litigation processes to discern ownership rights, tax implications, and appropriate disbursement amounts.
Q: Can I offer assets and property to my spouse to avoid paying alimony?
A: If you do not want to deal with the hassle of ongoing spousal maintenance payments or alimony to your ex following divorce, you have options. It may be worth parting with a larger share of your community property to make up the difference and avoid long-term financial obligations for spousal support. Your Oceanside property division lawyer can help you determine whether this could be a viable option in your situation.
Q: Is my property division order final? Is there anything I can do to change it after it is finalized?
A: It is sometimes possible to request a modification to a divorce order as your life changes. For example, suppose your divorce settlement includes alimony based on your income and you sustain a serious injury that prevents you from working. In that case, you could potentially file a motion to have your alimony payments increased or extended. It is also possible to file post-judgment motions to alter child support and child custody determinations, but most property division disputes are settled prior to a divorce order’s finalization.
Hopefully, these questions and their answers clarify how property division works in a California divorce. Consult with an experienced Oceanside property division lawyer as soon as possible if you are concerned about how your property division proceedings will go in your divorce case.
Seek Legal Counsel for Property Division Today
Ending a marriage is a difficult and emotional process, and it can also raise very complex financial questions. It’s essential to have reliable legal guidance on your side when you face divorce proceedings, and the right attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your property division determination.
If you are ready to discuss your legal options and start building your divorce case with the help of a compassionate and skilled Oceanside property division attorney, call our firm. Attorney Paula D. Kleinman is ready and able to assist with your case. Attorney Kleinman and her team can provide the detail-oriented legal counsel you need to successfully navigate your divorce. Contact us today and arrange a consultation with our team. We will evaluate your situation and help you better understand what to expect from your property division proceedings.