California is one of the nine U.S. states that have community property
laws. While many of the laws of the United States have roots in English
law, this particular concept came from Spain by way of Mexico to the U.S.
This legal concept says generally speaking, that all property that is
acquired during a marriage belongs to both parties. There are, of course,
exceptions. Among these exceptions, gifts and inheritances are not included
and assets one party held prior to the marriage, or after date of separation,
are not counted. This means that if people divorce, the community property
assets acquired during the marriage will usually be divided 50/50.
In many instances, one party may tell the other that they will take of
their financial assets away. Or a party will tell the other that they
will get nothing or that they are not entitled to part of a business owned
by the party. The fact is that even if a person attempts to hide assets
from the other, there are ways to uncover this information. People that
know they will be involved in an antagonistic divorce may want to keep
notes about things and keep their attorney informed about the different issues.
Our Divorce lawyers in Lancaster, CA often help people to sort out what
assets a couple has in order to find out how property will be divided.
While some couples will be in agreement about what each should receive,
there are many couples that will spend a considerable amount of time fighting
about this issue. Having an attorney handle this problem is often the
best option as this keeps emotions out of the picture. With guilt, envy,
greed, anger, jealousy, and other negative feelings often being in the
forefront of people’s minds when going through a divorce, having
someone that is objective handle the issues makes the most sense. This
prevents parties from giving up too much if they are experiencing guilt
while protecting some parties from the rage their partner feels.
Our Lancaster, CA divorce lawyers can advise people on which assets should
be considered in a divorce settlement. People often think about things
such as cars, houses, and furniture but there are often other things that
they will want to consider. Financial assets such as savings and checking
accounts enter the picture but people do not always consider pensions
and retirement accounts. While it is to a couple’s benefit to work
to an amicable agreement about property, this does not always happen.
In some cases, a mediator will be used to help resolve things. At other
times, the judge will make the decision. People will also want to consider
that because California is a no-fault divorce state, dramatic he-said,
she-said stories are not likely to have any bearing on a property settlement.