Division of Assets Attorney in Ontario, California

The thought of losing one-half of what you've worked so hard for can be devastating.  California is a community property state, which means - generally - each spouse gets half of everything. Even when a couple hasn’t acquired many assets, dividing marital property can be complicated and contentious.  Your goal should be getting the items, assets, and accounts that mean the most to you.  If you’re considering divorce, have started the process, or have been served divorce papers, you need an experienced divorce attorney on your side to help navigate key decisions.

At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, I’ve helped my clients get the property and assets that give them comfort and financial security.  I've represented spouses in court for more than 20 years. You may not need a lawyer to handle every aspect of your case.  So, I provide advice and representation for self-represented pro per litigants and those who want full representation.  I proudly serve clients in Ontario, California, and throughout San Bernardino, Riverside, and Los Angeles County. Call today to schedule a consultation.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

In California, community property is subject to division in divorce while separate property generally is not. Although it may sound easy to determine what is community property and what is separate, it isn’t always black and white.

Community property. California law presumes that all property acquired during the marriage in joint form is community property. To rebut this presumption requires either clear documentation that the property is separate or proof that the parties have agreed to consider the property as separate. Anything the couple acquired during the marriage, including real property, personal property, business assets, and retirement funds, as well as debt, is treated as community property.

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Separate property. According to California law, separate property includes real and personal property owned by a spouse before marriage or received through gift or inheritance during the marriage. Separate property also includes property acquired before the divorce but after the date of separation.

Separate property can become community property if marital assets are used to maintain it. For example, one spouse might inherit a home that would be separate property and not subject to asset division; however, if commingled marital funds are used to renovate the home, it can create a "community property interest" in the home.  This means a spouse might receive some money from the value of the house.  Likewise, the bank account a spouse had prior to marriage can become community property if marital monies have been deposited during the marriage.  This is why it is important to keep your separate property separate by not mixing it in bank accounts that have your wages or other community property funds in them.

Determining How Assets are Divided

Who determines what is community property or separate property, the value of community property, and how community property is divided in a California divorce depends on whether the divorce is uncontested or contested.

If you and your spouse can agree on the division of your community property, debt, and all other ramifications of your divorce, including child custody and spousal support, you can both sign a Marital Settlement Agreement to be approved by the court.

If you and your spouse are unable to agree, your divorce is contested which means the court judge will determine how your assets and liabilities will be split at a value as near as practicable to the time of trial.

How Experienced Legal Counsel Can Help

In a contested divorce, your attorney will help present your case to the judge who will make the final determination as to how assets will be divided. Even in an uncontested divorce, a family law attorney can help you determine marital assets and assess their value and your contribution to them. 

At the Law Office of Shelly Jean John, I have the experience and resources necessary to help you achieve a fair and equitable property agreement. I will answer your questions, explain your options, and help you find a solution.

Asset Division Attorney in Ontario, California

If you are going through a divorce and facing asset division, you aren’t alone. I will help you fight to get the assets and property you need to start your new life. I represent clients throughout San Bernardino, Riverside and Los Angeles counties in Southern California. Call today and schedule a free meeting.