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Community Property

San Diego Community Property Lawyer

California has one of the more complicated sets of laws in the country regarding the division of assets and property upon a divorce or separation. When a court divides up assets and property between spouses, the judge will generally award each spouse their separate property, which is the property they entered into the marriage with, or property that was bought with separate property (e.g. when a wife uses her pre-marriage savings to buy a car), or property gifted to a specific spouse. Property that the spouses acquired during marriage through their labor, investment, or through joint gifts will be considered community property, however, and the judge will aim to award one-half of this community property to each spouse. Figuring out what is and is not community property can be extremely complex, especially in situations involving business interests and real estate. At the Law Offices of Andy Cook, our San Diego Community Property Lawyer can help explain the intricacies of community property laws.

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How Courts Determine What is Community Property Vs. Separate Property

Determining the difference between separate and community property gets very complicated in situations where an asset includes both community property and separate property, such as with real estate and business ownership. With real estate, the court may determine that a wife made a down payment on a home with separate property, but that the mortgage principal and interest payments were made with a mix of the wife’s separate property, the husband’s separate property, and the couple’s community property, and so the court will have to untangle how much of the present value of the home should be considered each party’s separate property and how much should be considered community property. Things can get even more complicated with a spouse’s business where a court might have to determine how much of a business’ present value came from effort and investment put into the business by a spouse before the marriage (meaning that portion of the value is separate property) vs. during the marriage (meaning that portion of the value of the business is community property).

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Seek Experienced Legal Representation in California Community Property Matters

The courts have wide latitude in dividing assets and property upon legal separation or divorce, and the rules regarding community property can be quite complex, so it is in your interest to speak with an experienced attorney who can help you navigate the process of understanding community property, whether you are entering into a divorce or legal separation or are simply planning for the future. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Andy Cook possess the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to provide you with the representation you need in this critical area.

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