Santa Cruz Family Law Attorney

Community Property

California is a community property state and each spouse generally owns a 50% interest in all the property acquired during marriage. Any property acquired during marriage is generally presumed to be community and it may include your house, cars, retirement accounts, stock options and debt. During your divorce all your community property must be divided.

Community property mat be divided in one of two ways. It may be divided via a private agreement reached through mediation or a settlement. Your community property may also be divided by the court. If you ask the court to divide your community property each person will generally be given a 50% interest in each piece of property. This may lead require all the property to be sold and the proceeds divided. Although the courts will divide your property, the courts lack of flexibility creates a rigid and possibly impractical result.

If you can reach a private agreement you are free to decide what community property to sell and what property can be split between the parties. Some assets like a house may be too large to offset, but being able to distribute your property in a fair manner may offer a more practical solution than the court can provide.

If you choose to pursue a private agreement I can help you determine the best strategy. If both sides are willing to sit down face to face mediation may be an effective tool to work out the terms of an agreement. Reaching a settlement through collaborative law can also provide an effective way to divide property without involving the court. Either way I can help you try and find a private agreement that is fair to everybody and meets your specific needs.

Dividing your community property can be a logistic and emotional challenge during a time that is full of challenges. However I will listen to you and help you try to find a property solution that is fair and takes into account what property has significant importance to you.