Skilled California Lawyers Handle Community Property Disputes
Accomplished Burlingame law firm seeks fair resolutions for divorcing spouses
California is a community property state, which means that divorcing couples are required to split the value of their marital property equally. It does not matter which party acquired the asset or earned the money to do so. At The Law Offices of Mark C. Watson in Burlingame, we provide the legal guidance you need to protect you rights and secure a fair property settlement in your divorce. With substantial experience, the firm’s attorneys are strong advocates for clients throughout San Francisco Bay Area during negotiations and in court.
Knowledgeable counselors advise on questions regarding marital property
At The Law Offices of Mark C. Watson, our lawyers give clients comprehensive information about the division of assets and debts in a divorce. In this jurisdiction, community property is designed to encompass almost any type of asset that is accumulated by a married couple. Items that can be considered as community property include:
- Houses, cars, boats, clothing, furniture
- Copyrights, patents, trademarks
- Bank accounts, stocks, life insurance that has cash value
However, there are items that are not considered community property for the purposes of division following a divorce. These may include:
- Assets acquired before marriage: Community property law does not apply to inheritances and property acquired before the marriage and kept separate during the marriage — for example, funds from a trust that was left to you from your mother’s estate and that you kept in a separate bank account from your spouse or domestic partner throughout the entire duration of the marriage or partnership.
- Items covered by prenuptial agreements: Couples with prenuptial agreements can avoid community property division by setting forth their own terms in writing before marrying or entering into a domestic partnership.
- Mixed community and separate property — commingling: It can be difficult to distinguish between community property and separate property. The most common problem is with pension plans. If a pension plan or retirement account was started before the marriage and contributions continued to be made to it throughout the marriage or partnership, it can be difficult to divide. In this example, the contributions made before marriage might be considered separate property while those contributions made during the marriage are considered community property. We can advise you about how such gray areas are handled under California law.
The attorneys of The Law Offices of Mark C. Watson deliver strong counsel when issues arise relating to asset valuation and classification. We assert clients’ rights no matter how complex or contentious the divorce might be.
Contact an experienced California property attorney
At The Law Offices of Mark C. Watson, we make it our business to get you through this trying time as smoothly as possible. Our experienced attorneys can help you with community property division following divorce. Call us at 650-692-4001 or contact us online for a consultation at our Burlingame office.