When you need a divorce lawyer who can handle complex financial issues and property division questions, it is essential to choose an attorney with solid professional experience handling tough divorce cases. The team at the Ewing Law Group has more than 30 combined years of experience handling difficult divorce cases in the greater Sacramento area. We believe in individualized, responsive, and affordable legal counsel for every client we represent.
As your divorce attorneys, the team at Ewing Law Group will help you understand California’s community property laws as they will pertain to your divorce so you can approach the property division issue with greater confidence. Our team will stay in close contact with you throughout your divorce proceedings and help to ensure a fair outcome when it comes to your property division, whether you litigate or mediate your divorce.
When property division is left up to a judge, California’s community property laws will determine the property, assets, and debts each spouse receives in divorce. “Community property” applies to any property or assets a couple obtained while married, as well as jointly held accounts to which both spouses contributed. Some of the properties and assets that will likely qualify as community property in a Sacramento divorce include:
● The marital home the couple lived in and purchased together while married.
● A business the married couple started and operated together while married.
● Vehicles and other expensive items the couple purchased while married.
● Retirement accounts
● Credit card debt and other unsecured debts on accounts held in both spouses’ names.
● Investment properties and other secured assets the married couple purchased while married.
Assets that fall under the umbrella of community property are subject to 50/50 division under California’s community property statutes. State law also includes strict guidelines for which properties and assets would qualify as one spouse’s separate property. This property will remain in the spouse’s ownership following divorce and typically includes properties and assets the spouse owned prior to entering the marriage, inheritances from blood relatives, and gifts.
It’s natural to have lots of questions regarding community property and separate property if you are trying to predict how property division will go in your divorce. California law also upholds additional statutes that complicate these questions even further. It is possible for some separate property to “transmute” into community property under certain conditions. Typically, this includes any separate property which the owner’s spouse improved or caused to appreciate in value during the marriage.
An example of transmutation of separate property could include a home one spouse owned prior to the marriage that the other spouse helped restore and renovate, thus greatly boosting the home's property value. If the home was previously worth $100,000 and the other spouse’s contributions caused the property value to increase to $300,000, it matters to the case. This is a clear sign that the owner’s spouse had a significant impact on the property’s value, thus transmuting it to community property. The same might happen for a struggling business one spouse owned that their partner ultimately improved during their marriage through their contributions.
Divorce cases can be stressful, time-consuming, and expensive without the right legal counsel. As your Sacramento divorce attorneys, the team at Ewing Law Group will do everything we can to ensure a fair and reasonable property division determination in your case. If you wish to explore mediation, we can help you develop a strong negotiating position and ensure your settlement is as fair as possible. If you are ready to meet with an experienced Sacramento divorce lawyer for professional insight into your unique divorce case, contact the Ewing Law Group today
and schedule a case evaluation with our team.