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What is considered marital property in California?

| Jul 18, 2019 | Asset Disputes |

During a marriage in our state, couples handle their financial situation based on what makes the most sense for their family. Sometimes, one spouse may work and earn the majority of the income, while the other stays home with young children. Other times, both spouses work and earn similar amounts of money. Even spouses who both work though, may earn different amounts of money. Couples also may maintain everything they earn in joint accounts, or they may also have separate accounts.

During the marriage, it does not really matter who earns the money and in which accounts the money is held as most of the family’s expenses are shared expenses and must be paid. It may seem like who earned the money or had the accounts would matter if the couple divorces, but actually, it does not really matter in a divorce either. California is a community property state, which means that the couple will equally split all the marital property regardless of who earned the money or where it is being kept. However, this does not mean there will not be asset disputes though.

Not all property necessarily will be divided in a divorce. Only the marital property will be divided. Marital property is almost all money, bank accounts, real property, collectables, gains on interest accounts and investment accounts and other property that was acquired by either spouse during the marriage. It also includes debts that were incurred by either spouse during the marriage. The debts are divided equally as well.

There are many issues that couples in California must deal with as they go through a divorce. They may need to deal with child custody and child support, if they have children. They may need to deal with spousal maintenance as well. But, every couple will need to divide their marital property. This can be a relatively simple process, but it can also be very complicated depending on the amount and type of assets the couple owns.