California is a community property state where fault does not need to be determined in a divorce. The general presumption is that property, financial assets and debt accumulated during the marriage are classified as community property.
While some exceptions apply, the general rule suggests that property in one’s possession prior to marriage or acquired after separation remains separate property. Community property interests, including valuation and subsequent division, will be determined by the court.
While engaging in this process, parties have the option of negotiating a settlement regarding issues such as who keeps the house and other property, how investments will be divided, and business ownership.
If division of marital property is an issue in your pending divorce in Sacramento County or Placer County, call sherlock // anderson, pc, in Roseville. Jason R. Sherlock has been involved in the family law system dating back to 2000 and continues to ensure that our clients’ needs and rights are protected as they go through this process. From our offices in Roseville, we represent clients in divorce litigation in Sacramento, Placer, El Dorado, Sutter and Yuba county courts.
The Challenges Of Property Classification
A prenuptial agreement may include language stipulating that certain property held by either spouse shall remain separate property and not be subject to community property division.
However, if the spouses commingled (mixed together) separate assets during their marriage — to own and operate a business or to maximize financial interest and earnings, for example — the property may be difficult to separate or the additional value will be considered marital property.
Upon filing, the courts will require a process known as disclosure, or mandatory discovery, to determine whether all assets, property and debt have been accounted for and how the property is to be classified for final division between the parties.
Although property division can be complex, particularly when significant assets are involved, Sherlock // Anderson, PC, work hard to resolve disputes through negotiated settlements.
Where agreements are possible following mandatory discovery, individuals may enter into a judgment that is binding by the court. When represented by our lawyers, you can be confident that the settlement is drafted accurately and in the proper format.
Do You Need A Separation Agreement?
If you and your spouse are able to discuss your divorce, it is sometimes appropriate to draft a separation agreement, in which you decide ahead of time how you expect the marital property to be divided. It is important to be mindful of the fact that without a judge’s signature, these agreements may have minimal legal impact. This may, however, be a good starting place to for the marital property division.
When You Need To Go To Court
While the courts prefer an amicable resolution to these matters, sometimes litigation is unavoidable. If your property dispute goes to court, it will be tried in what is referred to as a “bench trial” in which only the judge hears the evidence and declares a judgment.
Jason R. Sherlock and Sara Anderson are the attorneys you want in your corner. Mr. Sherlock and Ms. Anderson have taken many cases to trial with positive results for our clients.
Call For A Free 30-Minute Consultation
We know you have questions about your property settlement. We offer a free 30-minute consultation to explain the process, review your situation and analyze your case in this complicated area of the law. Call us at 916-757-6630 or send an email to arrange a meeting with one of our attorneys today.