Six Reasons Why We Are the Best Property Division Attorneys in Sacramento
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Sacramento Property Division Attorney
When a marriage becomes riddled with conflict and heartbreak, divorce is often the only path to a peaceful life. Unfortunately, it is not an easy road to take, and going through the process of separating all your belongings in Sacramento courts can be incredibly stressful. We’re here to try and simplify this process for you. Property division is often the most lengthy, complicated, and headache-inducing topic during divorce litigations, and for good reason. Having to divide every asset you own between you and your spouse, many of which you are personally attached to, can be painful. However, we know that you are bravely making this choice to secure a better future for you and your children. That is why we are prepared to walk with you through every step of this process. We also provide free consultations so that you can ensure that we are a good match before you make any commitments. Below we discuss the general process of property division in Sacramento, California, but please do not take this as legal advice. Your situation could call for a different course of action, so call our Sacramento divorce firm today for a free case evaluation.
How Is Property Divided During a Divorce in Sacramento, California?
California’s Community Property Laws
California follows community property laws, which state that all property that the couple assimilated after the date of their marriage is considered “community property.” All property they acquired before the date on their marriage certificate or after the date on their divorce petition is considered separate property. Community property will be split between the two of them, while separate property is not.
What Property is Split During a Divorce?
Our mind naturally goes to physical items when we think of “property” – houses, land, vehicles, furniture, etc. These are, of course, included in the property that will be split during a divorce. However, property also encompasses many non-physical things of monetary value – insurance plans, pensions or retirement funds, bank accounts, credit cards, even debt.
Can My Inheritance Be Split During a Divorce?
This is a common question for those who hold an inheritance and are going through a divorce. Most often, the answer is no. Even if you acquired an inheritance after you were married, it is usually labeled as separate property and yours to keep. However, this could be different depending on the situation, so it is best to call our Sacramento law firm to discuss the details of your inheritance for a more solid answer.
Is Property Split 50/50 in California Divorces?
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that neither party is legally to blame for the divorce, and thus neither spouse will be punished by law through an unequal distribution of property. As such, Sacramento courts will work towards a property division that is as close to 50/50 as possible. However, in reality, splitting property 50/50 is simply not possible. There isn’t a knife big enough to cut your house in half nor are we expecting you to build a fence through half of your property. Thus, the process of dividing property in California depends mostly on negotiation. You and your spouse or the judge must come up with a way to split property in the most far way possible. You must decide what is personally the most valuable to you and what you will fight the hardest for (which is discussed in further detail in further paragraphs).
Steps to Dividing Property in California
Process of Property Division in Sacramento
Separate Property Versus Community Property in California – Dividing Divorce Assets
The first step to property division is to list out all the possessions you own and begin mentally or physically dividing them into separate or community property. If you are in doubt about whether it is separate or community, write it down, and we will help you sort it out when it comes to officially filling out the property division forms. We know that this task can sound tedious, but it is necessary, and most of the property you own can be classified relatively simply by the date it was acquired.
Property Division Forms in Sacramento County
Once you have the list (either physically written out or in your head, although we advise the former), you can begin solidifying it on the actual property division forms. Although there can be minor forms required of you, the main piece of paperwork will be a compilation of all the community property that is to be split during the divorce (community, transmuted, and commingled). We will help you go through this form and ensure that no errors are made, clarifying any confusion over the laws.
Value of Divorce Property
Once you have all your possessions written down, you can start personally evaluating the property. This doesn’t just mean how much money they are worth, but how much they are worth to you. Arranging your property in a hierarchy can often make negotiations easier, since you will already have in mind what property is irreplaceable and, thus, worth fighting for and what property you can do without.
The Final Property Division in Divorce
After these preliminary steps are completed, you are ready to move into the actual process of property division. Typically, couples choose to go through mediation. However, some especially conflictual divorces result in the couple having to go to court to resolve their property division. We outline general information on both below.
How to Divide Property in California
Property Division Mediation – Writing a Property Settlement Agreement for Divorce
Often, mediation is mandatory in California. This is because it allows the couple to talk between themselves and retain more control over who gets what in the divorce. You can resolve differences, explain your thought process, and advocate for yourself and your belongings. Of course, we know it usually does not go this smoothly, and that’s why we want to help. We will act as your property division mediator, ensuring that all discussions remain respectful and that both of your voices are heard. We will help you resolve arguments and assist with amicable negotiation tactics. Of course, we will also ensure that every detail of your property division is adequately covered to avoid conflict or confusion in the future. As you decide on who gets what, we will draft your property division settlement with meticulous attention to detail. Once the final decision is made, we will help you both review it, making sure that it is error-free and satisfactory. Then, we will inform you about the repercussions of each decision and how it could affect you and your children in the future so that you are well-informed before you sign. If this process appeals to you, and you would like to mediate your entire divorce, we have a page devoted to our mediation services here.
Property Division in Sacramento Courts
Since divorce is such a highly conflictual process, not every property division can end peaceably in mediation. Rather, some couples must take their case to court and have the judge assist them with making decisions. If you are in this circumstance, we can act as your personal divorce attorney and walk into the courtroom with you as your advocate, fighting for your most precious belongings.
How to Change Property Division Agreement After Divorce
Unfortunately, after a divorce is finalized and property division settlements are signed, it is incredibly hard to change them through Sacramento courts. Thus, it is important to contact a Sacramento property division attorney early on to ensure that you are adequately represented and thoroughly informed. However, if you are in a situation where you feel you need to change your property division agreement, contact our law firm for a free consultation to discuss your options.