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How to Split Property Fairly in a California Divorce

splitting property in a California divorce

How to Split Property Fairly in a California Divorce

One of the most contentious parts of filing for divorce in California is to split property and assets. To avoid a lengthy fight over the assets, there are a few options that you can choose to make the process go smoothly while ensuring both parties get their fair share. Read on to find out how the team at the Law Offices of Bradley D. Bayan thinks you can split property fairly in a California divorce.

California’s 50/50 Law to Split Property

When you are married, almost everything that you acquire during the marriage is shared between the spouses. That means that if you get married and then buy a house and a car, both assets are owned by both spouses. In a California divorce, the 50/50 law requires you to divide the value of those assets equally.

There are exceptions to the 50/50 law. Inheritances, for example, could be considered the property of only one of the spouses. Likewise, assets acquired before and after the marriage are considered individual property and may be exempt from the 50/50 law.

How Do You Divide Hard Assets, Like a House?

When someone says to “divide the assets” what they mean is to divide the value of those assets. If you share a house that was purchased during the marriage and the value of that house is $500,000, both parties are entitled to $250,000 each. This applies to all communal assets, including bank accounts, investments, property, real estate, and other non-exempt categories of assets.

Dividing Asset Values to Split Property

With this in mind, it is much easier to see how to divide assets in a California divorce. Both parties have to negotiate for the assets by finding a way to pay off the value owed to the other party.

For example, if you want to keep that $500,000 house, then you owe your spouse $250,000. You can provide that by giving up your stake in other communal assets that make up that owed $250,000. You can also take out a loan in your name only for the amount that you need and pay off the owed value.

When everything is said and done, the balance of the estate must be split as evenly as possible between the parties. Otherwise, assets need to be liquidated to divide their value between the two parties.

Short-Term vs. Long-Term Marriage

Another consideration under the law is the length of the marriage. In California, a short-term marriage lasts less than ten years. The length of the marriage can affect things like spousal support costs, but can also affect the distribution of assets in some cases. You should consult a California divorce lawyer to see if your case is affected.

Ask a Lawyer for Divorce Advice First

Before you make any agreements to split property in a divorce, consult with a divorce attorney first. A lawyer who knows the law well can help you evenly divide up the assets so that everyone leaves the divorce in an amicable way. Schedule a consultation with the Law Offices of Bradley D. Bayan by calling (650) 364-3600 or using our online form. We can help you resolve your divorce fairly and efficiently.

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