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California and its community property division laws

When a couple first falls in love and decides to marry, they may have the intention that they will share everything. However, once the relationship has lost its luster, the formerly happy couple may now find themselves fighting over how to go about the property division aspect of their dissolution. California is one of the states that has set laws over how property is handled in the event of a divorce.

In this community property state, any property or asset that was acquired by the couple during their marriage is to be split as equally as possible. This law applies to any real estate, vehicles, clothing, furnishings and any other goods that are subject to being purchased or sold. This also applies to financial holdings, including retirement accounts and life insurance policies that have a monetary value.

In addition, if there is a business or one party holds a patent on a product or idea, these may also have their value divided among the divorcing couple. However, if the couple has debts, the court may seek to ensure that the amount is distributed in an equitable but not necessarily equal manner. If one or the other party can show proof that an asset was owned before the marriage or was received as a part of an inheritance or as a gift, then that particular property or asset may be exempt from the law.

If the couple had reached an accord at some point in their relationship that an item or asset would be retained by one of the partners, then it may also be exempt from the property division law. There are also laws that govern how property outside of California will be handled during a divorce proceeding. Residents may choose to seek more information and guidance from a family law professional who can guide them during this often tumultuous and emotionally challenging time.

Source: FindLaw, "California Property Division", Accessed on April 1, 2017

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