Property Division

Property Division

Judicial division of property rights

Division of property is a judicial division of property rights and obligations that occurs during the divorce process.  This can be executed by a judicial decree, property settlement, or an agreement between spouses, and involves categorizing all property as either community property or separate property. The easiest way to deal with property division is for a couple to decide how to divide their property themselves. However, couples often have trouble agreeing on the best way to do this and the matter ends up in court. 

Community Vs. Separate Property

Community Property

Community Property includes all property accumulated during the marriage. This includes debts, unless designated otherwise.  For example, a loan made out specifically to one person based on their separate property.

Separate Property

Separate property can include property acquired before marriage, as well as gifts, inheritances, and pensions. Separate property also includes property acquired with separate property.  For example, a car bought with inheritance money. Sometimes separate property can become community property. An example of this would be a business that was started before marriage but sustained by and during the marriage. 

How does community property get divided?
How does community property get divided?

It is common for a couple to determine the division of property themselves. However, if they cannot decide, it is left to the judge. At the time of divorce, community property generally gets divided equally and each spouse keeps his or her own separate property. This is called equitable distribution. 

This does not always mean a physical division however. The court might allocate each spouse a percentage of the total value of the property. Each spouse gets assets, debts and personal property adding up to their percentage. 

If you are getting divorced and require assistance dividing up your property, FMS Family Law Attorneys can advocate on your behalf. 

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