California is a community property state for the purposes of divorce law. This means that all items of property, or assets, that you got during your marriage belong to both of you. If you have separate property that you had prior to your marriage, it is still your separate property. Likewise, if you received a gift or inheritance that was just for you, and not for your spouse, and you keep it separate from your other property, it is separate property, even if you got it during your marriage.
Most couples who are getting divorced are able to come to an agreement about how to fairly divide up their property. Until a judge approves the agreement and makes it into a court order, however, the property still belongs to both spouses.
Dividing up property is not always easy, especially when you jointly own real estate or other items that have a significant value. You should start by making a list of all of the property that you own, as well as any debts that you owe. You can do this by filling out a Schedule of Assets and Debts, which is a required court form that both spouses must fill out in order to get divorced. The goal of a fair settlement is to result in roughly equal amounts of assets being awarded to each spouse, taking into account the amount of debt also assumed by each spouse.
The Los Angeles divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Vincent W. Davis & Associates are eager to listen to your concerns and answer your questions about all issues related to divorce under California law. We have represented countless clients involved in divorce, property division, and child custody proceedings, and we are here to give you the legal advice and guidance that you need. Call our offices at (888) 888-6582 and learn how we can help you with your California divorce or family law case.