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Dividing marital property in Sacramento

When a couple decides to go their separate ways, they will have to determine how the assets will be divided. If there are a great deal of assets, including closely-held businesses, professional practices, significant ones like rental properties and pension plans, then the asset division can be complicated. Both parties will want to tread carefully when navigating a complex property division.

Before a couple starts making decisions regarding shared property, both parties should understand the difference between separate and marital property. Separate property refers to those assets owned by either spouse prior to the marriage. Inheritances left to one party or other are generally separate, as are gifts received from third parties. Marital property includes assets acquired by either party over the course of the marriage and may include pension plans, stock options, bonuses and other assets. It's important to remember that separate property can be redefined as marital property if it is commingled with marital property by re-titling the asset into both names or putting an individual inheritance into a joint bank account.

California is a community property state. This means that both partners are considered equal owners in the marital property. A 50-50 split of the property is generally followed as a result. Partners should also bear in mind that the equitable split of assets will also extend to debts. As with assets, not all debts may be marital property, so it's important to understand how each asset and debt will be classified before agreeing to any settlement.

Negotiating the division of assets in any divorce can be tricky. Many couples try to stay out of court as they strive to maintain more control over which assets they retain ownership of. A competent divorce professional may be able to help you keep the assets that are most important to you, even though the courts may demand an equitable division of assets.

Source: Huffington Post, "Understanding How Assets Get Divided In Divorce ", Jeff Landers , June 14, 2013

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
5303 Folsom Boulevard
Sacramento, CA 95819

Phone: 916-905-4805
Fax: 916-498-0127
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