California’s community property code applies to only legally married spouses, or couples who formed a Registered Domestic Partnership. Couples who lived together outside of marriage are not entitled to the same presumption of an equal division of their accumulated wealth. You may need legal counsel to protect your property, or to reclaim your contributions to the household estate. Schoenberg Family Law Group, P.C., has long represented unmarried individuals in the division of their property. Our San Francisco family law practice advocates for gay and lesbian partners and cohabitating, non-married couples. Our goal is to preserve your dignity, humanity, and property rights in a legal system that does not universally acknowledge your relationship.
“I called this office with a few questions about terminating a domestic partnership in San Francisco. The call was answered right away. After a few preliminary questions, I was passed directly to Ms. Schoenberg herself, who professionally and warmly answered my questions to set me on the path. I would heartily recommend this practice to anyone in need of family law assistance in San Francisco.”
— A.T. (See additional client testimonials.)
Dividing Assets When Community Property Does Not Apply
We regularly handle complex property distribution on behalf of high earners who are not legally married. This involves many of the same outside experts, such as appraisers and business valuation specialists, but may involve a different set of laws than those that apply in a married couple’s divorce or legal separation.
We can help you understand your rights and options regarding division of assets acquired while you were together, such as:
- A house or real estate
- A business or professional practice
- Stocks and investments
- Vehicles and valuable personal effects
- Pensions and retirement accounts
Our attorneys have vast experience in handling Marvin actions, where applicable, in California civil courts.
To the extent that your assets are addressed in a cohabitation agreement or domestic partnership agreement, the court will typically honor those contracts. You may have to litigate if there is a valuation dispute, if you jointly acquired property not addressed in the agreement, or if you are alleging fraud or breach of contract.
If there is no formal agreement, we can represent you in court to argue for or against claims to particular assets.
You May Not Be Married, But You Do Have Rights
We advise clients who were never married in regard to several issues, including tax implications of property settlements, or conversions of domestic partnership agreements to prenuptial agreements for same-sex partners marrying under new marriage equality laws.
To speak with our San Francisco lawyers about property issues for unmarried couples, please contact us online or call us at 415.834.1120.