Division of Property and Assets

Protecting Your Property in the Divorce Process

In general, California is a community property state, and with few exceptions, all property and debt acquired during the marriage, by either party, is considered to be community property. California is also an equal division state, and absent a written agreement between the parties, judges are required to divide community property equally. This does not mean that each asset or debt must be split though, it simply means that the total value of the assets minus debts that you receive must be equal to that received by your spouse. There are a number of special rules for property though, such as:

Retirement benefits, whether in the form of pension plans or deposit accounts such a 401(k) plan or an IRA, will generally require a separate Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to avoid tax consequences from a transfer of benefits or a withdrawal.
Businesses of any kind require a special kind of valuation to recognize not only the value of business assets and existence of business debts, but also to account for the value of goodwill, which is generally based upon the expectation of future profits.
There are many other special rules including those for separate property, the cost of education acquired during marriage, settlements received for personal injury, insurance proceeds, social security benefits, gifts and inheritances and many others.


How a Certified Specialist Marital Property Lawyer Can Help You
I can help you by reviewing each asset or debt in which you may have an interest to advise you as to how it may be characterized, valued and awarded in a way that benefits you. If settlement efforts have failed and your case is proceeding to trial, we can assemble and prepare witnesses, including expert witnesses, records and evidence to present a compelling case for the outcome you are seeking.

I practice primarily in the central San Bernardino courthouse. Your divorce case will likely be filed in the central San Bernardino courthouse if you or your spouse reside in San Bernardino, Redlands, Yucaipa, Highland, Colton, Fontana, Rialto, Bloomington, Lake Arrowhead and surrounding mountain communities or anywhere else in the central San Bernardino Valley.