Characterization Issues

Which Assets Will Be Subject To Division In Your Sacramento Divorce?

Community property division is a frequent stumbling block on the way to a marital settlement agreement in California divorce. To arrive at a fair division of the marital community, the spouses need to be in substantial agreement about two issues: the composition of community assets and liabilities and the value of the assets. Uncertainties or disputes as to what's in or out of the marital community are known as characterization issues.

You can't make a fair division of the marital property until you know just what you're dividing. To learn more about the best ways to resolve the characterization issues that are likely to come up in your divorce, contact the law firm of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law in Rancho Cordova.

Distinguishing Community And Separate Property In Rancho Cordova: Call 916-229-6847

The basic rule of community property characterization is simple: If an asset was acquired or a debt incurred during the marriage, it's presumed to be part of the marital community and subject to division in divorce. There are two important exceptions: gifts and inheritances. A valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can also alter the character of a community or separate asset.

There are several ways the basic rule can become complicated, and depending on the assets or debts involved, resolution of the characterization issues can be critically important to your financial security coming out of divorce. Just as the distinction between personal and business assets can be lost through careless bookkeeping, separate assets acquired before marriage can become community property through commingling during the marriage. Our attorneys can let you know whether investments, mortgage payments, student loan payments or other financial activity during marriage might have thrown the separate character of your assets or liabilities into doubt.

Other characterization issues can blend into valuation problems that also need to be addressed on the way to a fair divorce property settlement. For example, the appreciation in value of a separate asset during the marriage should often be treated as a community asset. Similarly, a portion of the payments made during the marriage on one spouse's separate debt can usually be recovered by the other spouse.

Your lawyer's attention to detail on community property characterization problems can have a major impact on the resolution of the financial issues in your divorce. Contact the office of Hugh O. Allen Attorney at Law for more information about your legal options.

This does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or a prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.