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There are simple ways to protect some assets in property division

For many couples, the happily ever after is simply the ending of a fairy tale and not the true story for their particular circumstances. Once it has been decided that a marriage is no longer sustainable, the next step may be how to go about determining property division. While California is a community property state, there may be some assets that can be protected.

In community property states such as California, the court treats all marital assets as being jointly owned by both parties and, therefore, subject to equal division. There are assets that are considered to be separate such as assets obtained before marriage, inheritances, property that was obtained after the separation and any assets or holdings that were described in either a pre- or post nuptial agreement. However, when it comes to gifts and some inheritances, there may be a simple way to protect these assets from division.

If one has received a gift or inheritance from a third party, the recipient may be best served if he or she keeps these assets completely separate from any marital finds. That usually means depositing these monies into a completely separate account that is titled only in the recipient's name. Likewise, if the couple were given funds at any time during a marriage, it may be best if a written statement were drawn up that stipulates whether the gift is a loan and under what terms the loan is to be repaid. If the money is truly a gift, then the couple may benefit from recording from whom it was received and for whom it was intended.

While each situation is unique and provides its own challenges, taking simple steps to protect some assets may go a long way if a marriage ends in divorce. No matter how amiable relations between divorcing spouses may appear, when it comes to the tougher subjects such as property division or custody decisions, Many California residents may struggle to arrive at a suitable arrangement. A skilled divorce attorney may be able to provide the guidance necessary to enable one to reach the optimal solutions.

Source:, "Property Division in Divorce - Gifts and Inheritance", Jeffrey Landers, Accessed on Dec. 13, 2017

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Victoria S. Linder Law Office
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Phone: 916-905-4805
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