Property Division in Ventura County, CA
California is known as a "community property" state. What this means simply is that almost all of the property that is acquired during the marriage is considered to be community property while the rest is considered separate. According to California Family Code §2550, all property will be divided equally between both parties with the following exceptions:
- Written agreement of parties; or
- Oral stipulation in open court.
Per the law, the property that is classified as community property will be split equitably between both parties; put simply, once the property has been given a total fair market value, both parties must receive 50 percent of the net community estate. This means that the property division is not done per item, but by the overall value of the estate. For example, one party may be given the house while the other is given the family business. The couple is permitted to divide property as they see fit, so long as each side gets 50 percent.
Ventura County Property Division Attorney
Separate property, on the other hand, is anything that was given as a gift / bequeathed to one specific party or something that was owned before the marriage. While this is generally a clear division, there are certain areas where it can be a complex, gray area. For instance, what if one party had a business before the marriage, but after they got married, both parties worked at the business and caused it to expand? These types of items can be complex and be hotly contested. It is therefore extremely important that no time is wasted in seeking professional legal representation to ensure your rights are protected. At Cutter & Lax, we are well-versed in property division law; you can trust that we will fight to ensure you are treated fairly.