The Law Firm of Yolanda V. Torres, APLC

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Understand separate, marital property before your divorce

When you married, you likely expected the relationship with your spouse to last a lifetime. However, you -- like many others -- may have found yourself facing marriage issues that have proven insurmountable. As a result, the decision to divorce likely occurred, and you may now find yourself worrying about how your property division proceedings will play out, especially in your high-asset situation.

Separate vs Marital Property

When dealing with property division, one of the most important aspects to understand is that property falls into one of two categories: separate or marital. Though you may have heard these terms, fully understanding what property could fall into which category could play a major role in the division of your assets.

When it comes to separate property, assets owned before marriage remains the property of the original owner. Additionally, any inheritances or gifts given to you or your spouse remain the individual's property. However, if you or your spouse received monetary inheritances or gifts then commingled those funds with shared bank accounts or added your spouse's name to the title of property you already owned, those assets become marital property.

Commingled property and property acquired during the marriage fall under marital property. In the case of assets obtained during marriage, the titles of the property and whether you or your spouse own the property singularly does not matter. The court considers both parties owners of the property.

In addition to these general rules, specific state laws could also come into play. Therefore, you may wish to find out additional information for certain property.

Community Property State

In California, property division proceedings follow community property rules. These rules mean that marital property goes through an even split between you and your spouse. Though these laws apply, you do not have to sit back and feel uncertain about what property you may keep. In a high-asset case, you likely have property of which you would like to maintain ownership, and during the division process, you may have the opportunity to fight for certain property as long as the end result remains relatively even.

If you believe your property division proceedings could become complicated or you would like assistance during your case for other reasons, you may find such help with experienced attorneys. Legal professionals could examine your case and provide insight into the division process and how you could potentially work toward the outcomes you desire.

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The Law Firm of Yolanda V. Torres, APLC
601 N. Parkcenter Drive
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Phone: (657) 210-0691 
Fax: (714) 242-7416
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The Law Firm of Yolanda V. Torres, APLC
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Huntington Beach, CA 92647
Phone: (657) 210-0691 
Fax: (714) 242-7416
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