Property division is an issue in divorce cases that the parties and courts end up spending much time litigating. For many people in California, property division isn’t a significant issue because the average married couple doesn’t acquire assets or property that raise complicated legal issues.
However, sometimes a married couple comes across property that requires them to trace its acquisition to a source that determines whether the property should be divided in divorce as the couple’s community property.
General Community Property Principles
California is a community property state. Under California law, the parties in a divorce are entitled to an equal share of all community property. All property that a married couple acquires during marriage is community property unless clear evidence indicates that an asset or item of property is the separate property of one of the parties.
All property that a party acquires before marriage or after the date of permanent separation qualifies as their separate property. Furthermore, assets a party acquires during marriage through gift, bequest, or devise is considered to be their separate property. Additionally, the parties may determine the character of property as community or separate under a written agreement.
Tracing Assets to Determine Their Community or Separate Property Character
Under California law, all property that the parties own is presumed to be community property. As a result, a Tracing is a process of showing that a particular asset or item of property is attributable to a separate property source.
Tracing becomes necessary in situations where the parties acquire property during marriage through multiple transactions. Real estate transactions, refinancing, and business transactions may require tracing to establish the true character of an asset. For example, a home that a married a couple bought using the income earned during marriage in addition to funds either of the parties inherited can be attributed to a mix of community and separate property funds. In such situations, experts such as forensic accounting professionals and Certified Public Accountants are usually responsible for developing and supporting tracing issues.
Get Quality Advice from an Experienced Attorney Today
Property division issues such as tracing assets are complicated matters that legal professionals should handle. At Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich, you can benefit from the experienced advice and advocacy of our legal team regarding tracing assets for property division purposes. We have connections to reputable financial experts you can rely on to effectively support your position regarding complex financial issues like tracing assets.For more information about how Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich can help you, call us at (951) 687-6003 or contact us online today.