Division of marital assets and debts ranks among the most complicated and contentious issues in divorce and legal separation. When a couple cannot agree on who gets what, it is left up to the court to decide. If you are facing divorce or separation, contact the San Diego division of assets lawyer at Scott & Matteson for experienced legal representation in division of assets.
Division of assets is one of the most complicated aspects of divorce or separation, particularly in high net worth cases. It is not uncommon for one or both spouses to have an interest in keeping certain assets at the end of a marriage. Our family law attorneys have the legal knowledge, negotiation skills, and trial experience to protect your rights and individual assets during divorce or separation.
For the purpose of divorce or legal separation, assets owned by the spouses are either community or separate property. Under state law, community property and debts are divided equally between the spouses. Some couples are able to reach an agreement on how to divide their property and debts. For those who are unable to do so, the matter is decided by the court.
There is a presumption under the law that debts and assets accumulated by a couple during a marriage are community property. Property that was solely owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired by inheritance or gift during the marriage is separate property. This generally includes:
State law also provides that property acquired by a spouse before the divorce or legal separation is finalized but after the date of separation is separate property. The date of separation is the date that one spouse decides to end the marriage. It is not necessarily the date on which a spouse moves out of the marital home. However, there must be some act of physical separation and other actions clearly demonstrating the spouse’s decision to end the marriage.
A monetary value is generally assigned to each item of property by the spouses, or by the court if the spouses cannot agree. Appraisals may be required to help determine the value of real property, artwork, antiques, and other items. An actuary, CPA, or other financial professional may be needed to determine the value of retirement assets, particularly in cases when a retirement account existed before and during the marriage and after the date of separation. Our San Diego division of asset lawyers will help you sort out the details.
Division of assets can be a challenging process, particularly when spouses cannot agree. Dividing the property may involve buying out the other spouse or selling the assets and dividing the proceeds. At Scott & Matteson, our San Diego division of assets attorneys have decades of experience handling divorce and legal separation with a history of favorable outcomes for our clients. Call us today for dedicated legal advocacy in division of marital assets.