The property portion of a divorce or legal separation can be complicated. You should consider talking to a lawyer before filing your papers, especially if you have anything of value or if you have significant debt. You may just need to hire a lawyer to take on the property portion of the divorce, rather than taking on the entire divorce or separation.
Here’s some basic information about California law related to what happens with property when spouses or domestic partners choose to divorce. It’s also important to refer to any property agreements signed before the marriage, such as pre or postnuptial agreements.
How to Define “Property” in a Divorce
Property is defined as anything that can be bought or sold or anything that has value. Examples include: house, cars, furniture, and clothing, bank accounts and cash, 401(k) plans, stocks, a business or a patent.
Court Decision on Property Division in a Divorce
The court will make a decision about how to divide the property that was bought by the spouses or domestic partners during the marriage and still needs to make a formal order about these issues even if you and your spouse do not want to deal with these issues or if you divided you property informally when you separated.
A Judge Will Need to Sign Off Property Division
Just because a court decides on this, it does not mean you must go in front of a judge in order to decide these issues. A judge just needs to sign off on the agreement.Couples are often able to divide their property through agreement. But until a judge signs of on that agreement, the property bought during the marriage or domestic partnership belongs to the both of you, regardless of who is using it or who has control of it.
It’s also important to understand how property laws work when a couple is married or in a domestic partnership. A lawyer can help guide you on the intricacies of these laws.
For advice on property division and divorce and all it’s aspects, you need the expert law firm of Korol and Velen, certified family law specialists. Schedule a consultation today.