As you likely know by now, California is a community property state. This puts you and your spouse or domestic partner into a legal community of one, as opposed to separate entities. Under this policy, you and your spouse/partner are equal owners of the property, assets, and debt you accumulate from the date of your union. This generally means anything you acquire during your marriage or partnership is owned by the two of you unless it was given to you separately and only through inheritance or gift.
Community property includes homes, vehicles, other real property, furniture, household goods, bank accounts, stock portfolios, other investments, and your earnings. If anything was bought with the earnings that you or your spouse/partner made, it is considered to belong to the community. Your debts belong to the community as well, even if they were incurred by only one of you. Community property could also include pensions plans held by either or both spouses/partners as well as long as those plans were acquired during the marriage or legal domestic partnership. Thus, should your marriage or partnership end, all those assets along with your debts will be divided on a 50-50 basis or as close to that in a distribution that the court would consider fair to both sides.
Need help handling a division of community property and debt in Riverside, Murrieta, Corona, or elsewhere in Riverside County? Call Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich for exceptional legal representation at (951) 506-6654.
Quasi-Community Property in California
To understand quasi-community property, you must first have a grasp on community property. Quasi-community property consists of assets or property that you or your spouse/partner accumulated when living in a state other than California that would have been deemed community property if you had acquired it while living here. This means that whatever you acquired in the other state, such as wages, a home, vehicles, electronics, investments, pensions, etc. would be considered to be quasi-community property back in California. It will be subject to the 50-50 community rule when you move back to California should you dissolve your legal union.
As an example, let’s say you and your spouse resided in Oregon for two years during your marriage before you returned to California. While living in Oregon, both of you earned income, you bought a house together, and one of you bought a car. After two years, you decided to return to Riverside where the marriage eventually failed. When undergoing the division of your marital property in the divorce process, the income you earned in Oregon, the home, the car, and any debt accumulated would all be divided equally.
Work with an Exceptional Family Lawyer at Hanson, Gorian, Bradford & Hanich
The division and distribution of marital property and debt can be a complex matter, further complicated by issues such as business interests, professional practices, sophisticated investments, overseas accounts, retirement accounts, pension plans and more. Sorting all this out to come up with a fair settlement often requires the services of other financial experts and appraisers. Our firm is well-versed in discovering, locating, and valuing assets so that your settlement can be resolved fairly and according to law.
Our family law attorneys in Riverside County bring decades of experience to your case and will handle it with competence, care, and a determination to serve your best interests.
Contact us at (951) 506-6654 to book a consultation today.