Community Property State
California is a community property state, which means that all assets acquired during the marriage are generally considered community property and are subject to equal division between the spouses in a divorce. This includes assets such as real estate, investments, retirement accounts, and business interests.
The court will still consider factors such as each spouse’s earning capacity, age, health, and contributions to the marriage when determining an equitable distribution of assets. This means that while the court may begin with a presumption of equal division of community property, it may deviate from an equal split if it is deemed fair and just under the circumstances.
Not all assets are considered community property in California. Separate property, which includes assets acquired before the marriage, gifts, and inheritances, are not subject to division in a divorce. It is important to clearly establish the character of each asset to ensure an accurate division of property.
In California, both spouses are required to fully disclose all assets and debts, regardless of whether they are community property or separate property. Failure to disclose assets can result in serious legal consequences, including penalties and the reopening of the property division order.
Dividing business interests in a divorce can be particularly challenging. The court will consider factors such as the value of the business, each spouse’s contribution to the business, and the future earning potential of the business when making a determination of how to divide the business.