For many couples in San Diego, filing for divorce is one of the most difficult decisions they will ever have to make. Unfortunately, once a couple has decided to dissolve their marriage, there are countless other difficult decisions they will have to make throughout the course of their divorce proceedings, including deciding how to divide their marital property in a fair and reasonable manner. Our family law attorneys at (619) Divorce have extensive experience with San Diego divorces and marital property division disputes, and we can help you and your spouse devise a mutually agreeable solution for accurately identifying, assessing and dividing your marital property, while protecting your separate property and safeguarding your financial future. Whether your San Diego divorce involves significant assets, investment income and high-value marital property or not, contact our San Diego divorce lawyers at (619) Divorce today to schedule a free initial marital property division consultation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- Experienced San Diego Marital Property Division Lawyer
- Marital Property Division in San Diego
- Common Issues Associated with Marital Property Division
- How a Skilled Marital Property Division Lawyer Can Help
- Consult Our San Diego Marital Property Division Lawyers
EXPERIENCED SAN DIEGO MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION LAWYER
During most divorces in San Diego, it becomes necessary to identify and determine the value of the spouse’s marital and separate property and this process can be more difficult and contentious than you might think. Under California law, each spouse in a marriage shares equal ownership of the couple’s marital estate, which means your spouse could be entitled to half of the income you earned during the marriage or any assets you acquired or property you purchased with that money, even if he or she did not earn any income during that time. At (619) Divorce, we understand that you have worked hard for your wealth and have grown accustomed to a certain standard of living, and we know that divorce can put your way of life in jeopardy, especially when it involves negotiating such complicated and costly matters as child custody, child support, spousal support and marital property division.
The unfortunate truth is that San Diego divorces can quickly turn ugly no matter how valuable the couple’s marital property is, and when divorcing couples start fighting over their property and assets, the outcome is rarely a mutually agreeable one. Our San Diego divorce attorneys at (619) Divorce have a clear understanding of California divorce and property division laws and how they apply to your case, and we can help you and your spouse devise an equitable and cost-effective solution for dividing your marital property without compromising your standard of living or your family’s financial well-being. The division of marital property is one of the most commonly contested issues in divorces, and our attorneys at (619) Divorce have a proven history of success handling both simple and complex property division cases in San Diego. In many cases, couples filing for divorce in San Diego have jointly owned properties, businesses and other community assets, and many spouses in San Diego entered into their marriages with substantial pre-marital wealth, which makes dividing the marital property in a fair and reasonable manner a complicated task requiring the expertise of an experienced San Diego divorce lawyer. The longer a couple’s marriage, the more likely it is that separate property will have been mixed with assets acquired after marriage, and the more likely it is that this property will be categorized as marital property during divorce. Our family law attorneys at (619) Divorce understand how important it is to safeguard your wealth and we can help ensure a fair identification, valuation and division of marital property in your divorce, while making sure your separate property stays separate. It is our goal to protect your financial future by ensuring a fair determination and division of your marital assets.
MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION IN SAN DIEGO
The term “marital property” is used to describe all property and assets acquired by either spouse during a marriage. California is a community property state, which means, in the absence of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement saying otherwise, all marital property acquired by the couple during the marriage is owned equally by both spouses and will be divided in an equitable manner in divorce, including any businesses started by either party during the marriage. When it comes to dividing assets and debts in divorce, any property accumulated by the couple during the marriage or purchased with marital funds is considered marital property and is therefore subject to marital property division. “Separate property,” on the other hand, is property owned by one spouse or the other prior to the marriage, and in most cases, this is the spouse’s property to keep. Some important factors that can affect how marital property is divided in San Diego divorces include:
- The financial resources and liabilities of each spouse
- Any potential tax issues
- The contribution of each spouse to the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The family home
In San Diego, the courts will typically allow a divorcing couple to decide the best way to divide their marital property, so long as the property division agreement is fair and reasonable to both spouses. If the couple cannot agree on the division of their property and the case ends up going to court, the judge will consider a number of factors when deciding how to allocate the marital property, including the purchase date, how the property was acquired, and whether the couple has any children (in the case of awarding the family home to one spouse or the other).
EXCEPTIONS TO THE COMMUNITY PROPERTY LAW
Pursuant to California’s community property law, any property or assets considered “marital property” is subject to equitable division in a divorce. However, there are some important exceptions to California’s community property law. For example, if one spouse inherits property during the marriage, that property would most likely be considered separate, though it could be transmuted into community property if both spouses used the property, contributed to it and helped maintain it. Another example would be if one spouse acquires property after the couple separates but before they are divorced. Generally speaking, this property would be considered separate property not subject to division in the divorce.
MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION IN A HIGH NET WORTH DIVORCE
Deciding on a fair division of marital assets can be a considerable burden in any divorce, but the process tends to be exceptionally complex and costly in high net worth divorces in San Diego where one or both spouses have high-valued assets or investment income. Some examples of complex marital property that may be subject to division in high net worth divorces include:
- Real estate
- Stock options
- Family businesses
- Professional practices
- Life insurance policies
- Retirement accounts
- Privately owned companies
- Publicly owned companies
Before significant community property can be fairly divided in a high asset divorce, it must be assessed and evaluated by a professional, which is where our high net worth divorce lawyers come in. We have access to forensic accountants, financial advisors, appraisers and other financial experts who can take a fair and accurate inventory of your marital assets and income and devise a plan for equitably dividing the marital property.
COMMON ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION
When a couple files for divorce, both spouses are required to disclose all of their assets and debts, as well as their current income and expenses, to ensure an equitable division of marital property and, when applicable, to accurately calculate spousal support and child support payments. Some of the most contentious issues arising from the division of marital property include:
- Identifying assets and property as marital or separate
- Assessing the value of marital property
- Equitably dividing marital assets and property
- Determining fair and sufficient spousal and child support awards
- Understanding the tax implications of transferring assets
CALCULATING SPOUSAL SUPPORT AND CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS
There are many other complicated family law issues that typically arise during a San Diego divorce, including spousal support and child support payments, both of which are typically paid by the higher-earning spouse to the lower-earning spouse to allow for a similar standard of living post-divorce as was enjoyed during the marriage. Child support in San Diego is calculated using a strict mathematical formula that takes into consideration each parent’s income and expenses, how much each parent contributes financially to the child’s upbringing, the ability of each parent to provide financial support, the cost of the child’s daily living and medical expenses, and the amount of time the child spends in each parent’s physical custody. Spousal support, on the other hand, is a much more flexible calculation that is based on the length of the marriage, the earning capacity and job history of both spouses, and the standard of living the couple enjoyed during the marriage. San Diego child support and spousal support orders can remain in place for years, and the value of your assets and property in divorce can determine the amount of spousal support and child support you can be expected to pay or receive, which is another reason why getting an accurate valuation of your property and assets during your divorce is critical. Hiring the right attorney to handle your San Diego divorce can help ensure that your marital property is divided fairly, that what you have rightfully earned is protected, and that your family is provided for in the future.
HOW A SKILLED MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION LAWYER CAN HELP
Many divorce law firms in San Diego only see dollar signs when presented with a contentious divorce case involving complex marital property and financial disputes. Attorney 619 Divorce and the family law attorneys at (619) Divorce, however, see more value in providing honest and competent legal representation, and we will work tirelessly to successfully see you through the trauma of getting a divorce and fairly dividing your marital property and assets. We understand that getting a divorce is costly and emotionally draining and the longer the divorce drags out, the more devastating it can be for you and your family. At (619) Divorce, our San Diego family law attorneys will work quickly and efficiently to get you the best possible outcome in your divorce case, whether that means mediation and a potential marital property division settlement or litigation.
Determining child custody and visitation rights are some of the most sensitive and emotional issues stemming from a divorce action, but marital property division tends to be one of the most complex, contentious and expensive issues arising from a divorce. With our San Diego divorce lawyers on your side, you may be able to come to a private settlement with your spouse regarding the division of your marital property and avoid going to court altogether. If settlement is not an option, however, our divorce attorneys will aggressively and competently advocate for you in court. Whatever the facts of your case, a good San Diego divorce lawyer will ensure that you have a realistic expectation as to the potential outcome of your divorce, and will counsel you on the best course of action for your specific situation, whether that means putting up a fight or conceding the issue to avoid a costly court battle.
CONSULT OUR SAN DIEGO MARITAL PROPERTY DIVISION LAWYERS
As a general rule, married couples tend to put one spouse in charge of the marital finances and expenses, which means the other spouse may have no clue what an equitable division of marital property would look like in the event of a divorce. If you are getting a divorce in San Diego, and you and your spouse are unable to agree on a fair and reasonable division of your marital property, your first course of action should be to enlist the help of a knowledgeable San Diego divorce lawyer who has experience helping couples resolve marital property division disputes. Even if your divorce is uncontested and you don’t expect any issues, it is still a good idea to hire an experienced attorney when facing the task of dividing marital property in San Diego. Even the most amicable divorces can suddenly become contentious when it comes to marital property assessment and division, and it is our primary goal at (619) Divorce to ensure that you emerge from your divorce with your financial security intact. Contact our law firm today to discuss your best option for moving forward with your divorce.