The division of property is one of the most important parts of a divorce or legal separation case. If you wish to protect your hard-earned assets during a dissolution of marriage, work with an attorney who has experience helping individuals and families through these legal matters.
The Palo Alto property division lawyers at the Schoenberg Family Law Group can help with even the most complicated issues. We’ve spent years representing clients in property division cases. Our Palo Alto family law attorneys can help you resolve disagreements and properly navigate California’s property division laws. Contact us today to schedule a case consultation.
Why Choose Us
- We can help you establish goals for your case and secure a fair share of your marital estate so that you can build a brighter future after your divorce.
- We excel at solving legal and financial challenges. Our law firm can handle cases involving complex properties, businesses, retirement plans, QDROs, bankruptcy and more.
- Your lawyer will use 35 years of negotiation and litigation experience to help you through this difficult time. We provide individualized care and legal services.
How Is Property Divided in a California Divorce?
There are two main types of property division laws in the U.S.: community property and equitable division. California is in the minority as a community property state. California Family Code Section 2581 states that all property acquired by both parties during the marriage is known as community property. This is because the couple forms their own community when they marry.
In a divorce or legal separation in California, state law holds that each spouse has an equal right to the community property, including the family home, vehicles, a jointly owned business and community debts. This means that if a divorce case goes to trial for a judge to decide on property division, the judge will split community property down the middle (50 percent given to one spouse and 50 percent to the other).
The California courts will not look at factors such as fault for the divorce when determining property division. They also will not consider which spouse brought more property or debt into the marriage. In an equitable division state, on the other hand, a judge will allocate a percentage of marital property to each party based on what is fair or equitable according to the unique situation.
Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce
How your property will be divided in Palo Alto depends in part on if you have a contested or uncontested divorce case. A contested divorce means that you and your spouse cannot agree on the terms of your dissolution and cannot reach a settlement. This means your case will have to go to trial to be resolved. In this situation, a judge will split your community property 50/50 in California.
If you have an uncontested divorce, on the other hand, you and your spouse are able to communicate and compromise on how you will divide your property. This means the decision of who gets to keep what ultimately remains up to you and your spouse. For the most part, a judge will sign off on the property division agreement that you come up with. An uncontested divorce is cheaper, faster and leaves you in control of property division.
How a Palo Alto Property Division Lawyer Can Help
If you are considering a divorce or legal separation in Palo Alto, hiring an attorney is the most effective way to protect your rights. Your attorney can break down California’s property division and divorce laws for you, including community vs. separate property. An attorney can also help you protect the property and assets that you worked hard to obtain during your marriage using creative legal solutions.
For example, your lawyer can handle negotiations with your spouse or his or her lawyer, pushing for your desired outcome. At the Schoenberg Family Law Group, our lawyers can skillfully handle complications such as the classification of your property, hidden assets or a prenuptial agreement. While we use a settlement-based approach, we also have the ability to represent you during a trial in Palo Alto, if necessary. Our experienced property division attorneys are ready to fight for you.
3 Tips for Protecting Your Property
Under California’s community property law, if you acquired valuable assets or property during your marriage, it is critical to protect yourself from the possibility of having to split everything you worked for with your spouse in a divorce. This is also true if your spouse brought a lot of debt into your marriage that you wish to avoid sharing. You can make the process of a divorce or legal separation less stressful by taking steps to actively protect your property. Use these three tips:
- Create a prenuptial agreement. You can protect your property from being given to your ex in a divorce case even before you get married with a prenuptial agreement. This agreement can determine how you and your spouse will divide property should your marriage ever end.
- Keep separate property separate. If you wish to keep property that you owned before your marriage separate, don’t commingle your assets. A written agreement between you and your spouse saying that an asset or property is separate property can protect it from being divided.
- Try mediation. Before you head to trial, try mediation with your spouse and a mediator to try to compromise on how to share your property. Mediation is a type of alternate dispute resolution that can help you and your spouse communicate and problem-solve to avoid going to court.
If your divorce case involves any complications, such as high-value assets, contact an attorney to help you protect your property. A divorce lawyer in Palo Alto can evaluate your specific case and search for solutions to keep your property safe from division. Your lawyer can provide you with sound legal guidance so that you can make the right decisions for your future.
Contact a Palo Alto Property Division Attorney Today
For more information about how a Palo Alto property division lawyer can help you with your divorce or legal separation case, contact the Schoenberg Family Law Group. We are knowledgeable and experienced family law attorneys who can help with your case from start to finish. We treat all of our clients with respect, compassion and personalized legal services. Our goal is to make a difficult and stressful time a little easier for the whole family. To request your initial consultation, call (425) 223-1190 or contact us online today.