California civil code divorce real property

California law also provides that property spouses acquire before divorce but after the date of separation is separate property. The date of separation is not necessarily the date one spouse moves out of the marital home. Instead, it is the date that one spouse decides to end the marriage, and it requires some act of physical separation combined with other actions clearly demonstrating that the spouse has decided to end the marriage. The date of separation can become a big issue if just before the divorce one spouse either earned an unusual amount of money—got a large bonus at work or won the lottery, for example—or spent a significant amount of money.

Courts usually lean toward later rather than earlier dates when evidence conflicts, so that more property is included as community property, rather than less. A couple can agree either before or during marriage to change an asset that was originally separate property into community property, or vice versa.

Such agreements must be in writing and must clearly state the intentions of the parties; simply changing the title of the property is not enough. A premarital bank account belonging to one spouse can become marital property if the other spouse makes deposits to it; a house owned by one spouse alone can become marital property either in whole or in part if both spouses pay the mortgage and other expenses. Many types of assets can be partially community and partially separate, including retirement accounts one spouse contributed to both before and after the marriage, or a business one spouse started before marriage and continued operating after marriage.

Distinguishing community property from separate property can become very complicated, especially if one spouse owns a business or other asset to which the other contributed labor or funds during the marriage. If you have a complex property situation, you may need to consult an attorney for advice.

Property and Debt in a Divorce or Legal Separation - divorce_or_separation_selfhelp

Appraisals can help a couple determine the value of real property as well as items like antiques or artwork. Retirement assets can be very difficult to evaluate and may require the assistance of an actuary, C. They can also agree to hold property together even after the divorce. Petitioner is ordered to pay the taxes on said real property until it is sold.


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He further argues that the trial court, having awarded a one-half interest in the property to each party as separate property, had no jurisdiction to then impose conditions on the property's use. Civil Code section provides, in pertinent part, that " a The problem of division the trial court faced was not an uncommon one, nor was the economic situation of the parties herein unusual. During the course of a year marriage, four children were born; the wife had worked a substantial part of the time to assist in family support and it was necessary for her to expend funds on child care.

The major -- and only -- asset accumulated by the parties was the family home. The trial court did not regard immediate equal division of the community imperative as a correct application of the statutory law; we agree that the Legislature did not intend that upon dissolution the family residence must always be sold and the proceeds divided to meet the mandate of Civil Code section , when it is the only community asset.

There is little question that economic circumstances would warrant the application of the first exception to the equal division requirement, and it was so intended.

Property and Debt in a Divorce or Legal Separation

The conditions the court might impose are many and varied. The point is that economic circumstances are involved and the court was intended to have [31 Cal. That is an important power which gives the opportunity for just application of the law under the circumstances, and it should not be overlooked. It seems clear that the Legislature intended that family law trial courts have the power to make orders tailored to the particular situation under consideration when economic circumstances warrant it.

In the instant case, the court chose to award a present interest in the property to each party, coupled with an award of exclusive use of the property by the wife so long as she was obliged to maintain a home for the minor children. While the parties hold their separate interests as tenants in common, they are not typical common tenancy interests because of the absence of the ordinary incidents pertaining thereto, i.

See Cotenancy, 13 Cal. The result reached by the trial court is more nearly analogous to the creation of a community property homestead. The husband argues that the "economic circumstances" referred to in Civil Code section may only be considered by the trial court in a situation where the sole community asset consists of a business, rather than a residence. See Markovitz v. Markovitz, Cal. As our previous discussion indicates, the statute was not intended by the Legislature to be construed in such narrow terms.

The husband also contends that the trial court, in effect, made an award [31 Cal.


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We do not agree that the order awarded a property interest to the children; the award was made to the parties, with conditions, and was made for the benefit of the minor children; it was designated as additional child support. The husband suggests that the trial court could have employed a formula whereby the wife was obligated, upon award of the property, to refinance in order to obtain proceeds with which to pay the respondent an amount equal to his share of the property, or to carry a mortgage or lien in his favor on the property with appropriate payments of principal and interest.

See In re Marriage of Juick, 21 Cal. The disclosures include a current income and expense declaration with supporting documentation, a schedule of assets and debts with supporting documentation and a declaration regarding any significant changes that may materially affect the community assets and debts.

Re-opening Property Division Issues After Your Divorce

Throughout the course of a dissolution or legal separation case, each spouse has an affirmative duty to disclose material information, including documents to the other spouse. This is a mandatory duty even if the other party has not requested any disclosures. The best way to avoid a breach of your fiduciary duties is to keep in mind that no development that impacts the marital estate is too big or too small. Better to disclose than be sorry later on. Breach of the fiduciary duties can have harsh consequences.

Failure to comply with The California Family Code , can lead to imposition of the following. The law has evolved over the past several years and it requires full and complete disclosure of marital and separate property assets. Even if an asset is inadvertently undisclosed, sanctions can still be imposed. Each spouse has an affirmative duty to ongoing disclosure and doing so without a request from the other spouse.

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Our office is ready to assist you in complying with your fiduciary duties in your divorce case. Call today: Gregory G. Brown is an Irvine, CA based business litigation attorney.

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