Roseville Property Division Lawyer
There are a lot of complex issues to work out in a divorce, and how to divide up the property invites any number of difficult questions that a Roseville property division lawyer can help with. At The Law Offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson, we’re committed to getting into the legal trenches, poring over important detail, and fighting to get our clients a fair settlement.
We serve clients throughout Pacer County, and into Nevada County and Sacramento County. Call the Roseville office today at (916) 282-7737 or reach out online to set up a consultation.
Community Property Law in California
The state of California’s community property law calls for property division to be a 50/50 split between the spouses. So, that’s it then, right? Everyone gets half and goes on with their lives? Well, in theory maybe, but when theory collides with the real world, things can get messy. There are still two big issues that have to be worked out.
The first issue is that not everything can be split 50/50. The cash in a bank account can be. The stocks? Possibly, although cutting everything in half might involve steps that could reduce the overall value of the portfolio. Real estate? If the final agreement calls for selling everything and splitting the proceeds, then yes. But what happens if the couple has children and want to have the kids continuing to live in the family home they’ve always known? What happens if there’s a piece of real estate that’s expected to grow exponentially in value and the couple knows they are better off holding on to it for now?
Thus, the answer is that the settlement as a whole needs to be 50/50, but individual assets might go exclusively or primarily to one of the spouses. It’s the role of our Roseville property division attorney to make sure our clients’ desires are clearly understood at the negotiating table and then vigorously advocated for.
But even that’s not always the most difficult, or most complicated part of a property division settlement in California. Each case is different, but it’s not uncommon for the issue of marital property and separate property to be even thornier.
Call The Law Offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson today at (916) 282-7737 or fill out our online contact form and arrange to get the legal counsel you need.
The Difference Between Marital Property & Separate Property
Not all property is subject to the 50/50 split required under community property rules. The property a person owns prior to getting married is considered their separate property. It belongs exclusively to them and is returned to them in a settlement. There is no need to negotiate or give up anything for one’s separate property. Marital property, on the other hand, is what is acquired by the couple together. This is what is subject to 50/50 property division.
Here again, the rules on paper are simple enough, but real-world applications can get complicated. What if one person has been investing in the stock market on their own for several years prior to marriage? They’ve built up a nice portfolio, and they want to keep it in the divorce settlement. It’s their separate property, is it not?
To a certain extent, yes. But how much did the value of the portfolio appreciate in the time since the marriage? Was that growth driven by increased contributions made during the marriage? If so, that increased investment—and therefore its rewards—are now marital property. The entire portfolio may be a mix of separate property and marital property.
This just one example. The same principles can apply to a house that one person owned prior to marriage and then their spouse moved into. Or a 401(k) at a job that was held prior to, and during the marriage? All assets within a property division settlement have to be carefully examined, with an eye toward what value existed prior to the wedding date and what value was accumulated thereafter.
A Collaborative & Compassionate Roseville Property Division Lawyer
To understand all facets of property division calls for a deep attention to detail. At The Law Offices of James-Phillip V.M. Anderson ,we have no shortage of that. It’s also imperative that lawyer and client fully communicate, so everything is out on the table and able to be investigated. When an attorney has a soft compassionate heart to go with their sharp legal mind, that communication may be easier for a client—especially when the client is going through a difficult personal time.
We care about our clients and want the best for them. We fight for clients throughout Pacer County, and into Nevada County and Sacramento County.
Call the office today at (916) 282-7737 or contact us online to set up a consultation.
Do I need a lawyer to get a divorce?A:
Strictly speaking, the answer is no. The state of California allows people to represent themselves. But—and yes, we understand we’re biased—there is a lot that is missed out on when a reliable and experienced attorney isn’t present. Important issues in the property settlement might be getting overlooked. Agreements on child support or spousal support might be less than what a spouse or parent deserves. And, even in the simplest of divorce cases, a lawyer can still provide efficient services in filing documents and responding to motions, allowing their client to focus on the next era of their life.
Who gets the house in a divorce?A:
The house will be subject to California’s community property laws, which require a 50/50 split of all marital property between the spouses. Whether the family home ends up with a spouse or being sold will depend on how the settlement is negotiated between the two parties. There is no uniform rule on how any particular piece of marital property should be distributed.
How is child custody decided?A:
Child custody decisions are made exclusively on the basis of what the courts deem is the best interests of the child. This will depend on a range of factors which will be unique to each couple, so there is no one-size-fits-all answer. But as an example, if it’s already been agreed that one spouse will get the family home, a court might deem it in the child’s best interest to live with that parent, simply for the stability of staying in the same house.