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Property division, community and quasi-community property

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2020 | Property Division

There are many sources of dispute in a Los Angeles divorce. People will inevitably be concerned about support issues and child custody. While these considerations generally come to the forefront, property division can also be problematic. California is a community property state. Compared to states that use equitable distribution where the property acquired after the marriage is split in a way the court deems to be “fair,” community property generally means property acquired after the marriage is split evenly. Still, there are aspects of this to understand including community property and quasi-community property.

Understanding community and quasi-community property

After a couple is married, if something is purchased, it will be marital property. It is also marital property if it was acquired in any way except as an inheritance or a gift. Money earned from work is considered community property and anything bought with that money is also community property. For example, even if one spouse was working or ran a business and the other was a stay-at-home spouse, anything they purchased like real estate or an automobile is shared when they divorce. It is important to remember that debt will also be shared after a marriage even if it was only one spouse who accrued it.

With quasi-community property, if the property was acquired by one or both while living somewhere other than California and it would have been categorized as community property if they were living in California, then it is community property. Earnings can count as quasi-community property.

Legal assistance may be crucial in a divorce

If there is any confusion as to whether an item that was purchased, money in a bank account or other financial assets are community property or separate property, it is wise to discuss the case with a legal professional experienced in all areas of family law. People may be surprised to learn that they are legally entitled to certain properties simply because it was acquired after the marriage. Some properties might have immense value. As with any part of a divorce having legal assistance can provide protection and help from the start of the case to ensure there is a fair and reasonable resolution. Whether the case is contentious or the sides are relatively amicable, it is still important to have legal help, especially regarding property division.