Dividing assets during a divorce can be a complex matter, especially when dealing with business income or other high-value items. A lot of the questions that California residents ask us at Christy and Keith Family Law Group, P.C. have to do with property division.

The primary factor that comes into play in these matters is whether the property can be considered as separate property or as marital property. If you are not sure how to categorize some of the property that is up for division, we may be able to help.

How is marital property determined?

 Property obtained by either spouse during the marriage is typically considered marital property; however, deciding which property falls into this category is not as simple as it would seem. Retirement funds, pension plans and any home equity that has accrued during the course of the marriage can be considered marital property.

Just because the property is kept under the name of one spouse does not necessarily mean it is separate property. All marital property will be divided equally by the court.

How is separate property determined?

Exceptions to the above include property that was received by one spouse through an inheritance, or property received as a personal gift. This type of property, as well as any property acquired before the marriage, is considered separate property, which will typically go back to the spouse who owns it.

When it comes to deciding who gets what property, the fine details matter, and that’s where an attorney comes into play. For more information on this subject, please visit our page on property division.