Property Rights Explained

California is a community property state. This means that everything that was acquired during the marriage, from the date of your marriage until your date of separation, is community property and you are each entitled to one-half. There are exceptions to this rule, such as items received through either gift or inheritance, which is awarded to that spouse as their separate property.

Assets and debts that were acquired prior to the date of marriage or since the date of separation are referred to as "separate property".

When dividing marital property, the court does not typically require that assets be sold so that each item is literally split in half or the sale proceeds divided for each item. What typically happens is that each party is awarded particular items, both assets and debts. These items are then totaled up, and if the net total awarded to one spouse is greater than what the other spouse is receiving, then the party with more will pay an amount to the other party to balance out the division. This is referred to as an equalization payment.

At the Law Offices of Linda J. Claypool, we will work with you to determine the value of your community assets and establish what debts exist. If necessary, we will assist you in obtaining formal appraisals, consulting with tax professionals, seeking input from a skilled mediator, and what other inquiries best serve your needs to ensure you are getting the best possible information.

Our office will help you to divide all property acquired during the marriage, including real property, vehicles, bank and investment accounts, retirement and 401(k) plans, businesses and debts.

Handling Property Division Matters

During your divorce, you must reach an agreement on how things will be divided. If you cannot, then the matter will be set for trial for the judge to decide these things. At the Law Offices of Linda J. Claypool, we are knowledgeable of the law, familiar with what the court will typically do and can give you clear and concise advice to help minimize the conflict and stress that so frequently accompanies divorce proceedings. If it is necessary to go to trial, our skilled attorney will prepare the exhibits and evidence that the court will require to prove your case to get the result that you are seeking. This trial can be complex and overwhelming to someone new to the court process. While judges do their best to work with people unrepresented by counsel, they are restricted and cannot give advice. It is in this area that having competent counsel can make a positive difference in your case.

Divorce lawyer Linda J. Claypool will give you the advice you need to make important decisions that will affect your future. We understand that the goal is to spend as little as possible on attorney fees and keep as much of what was accumulated during the marriage as possible. This makes perfect sense, and we do our best to accomplish this for you. We will not suggest tactics that will cost you money and not result in enough value to justify it. If we feel that you may be losing sight of this yourself, we will ensure that you are informed of what options you have so you do not go down a costly road that you may regret. We work closely with you to make sure we focus on your goals. We understand that the process can be stressful and that there are many emotions involved. We help you with the legal side so you can take care of yourself and your children.

If you are facing a divorce and are concerned about your property rights, we invite you to contact our California family law firm today for a knowledgeable and objective legal opinion from our attorney, Linda J. Claypool.

To schedule your free consultation, call our firm at 951-787-8700 or fill out the contact form.