San Francisco Property Division Lawyers
Representing Clients in Marin, San Mateo, Contra Costa, & Alameda Counties
One of the most complex, and often contentious, issues in any California divorce is marital property division. California is a “community property” state, which means that all assets and property acquired during the marriage are considered to be owned equally by both parties, regardless of whose name is on the title. These assets are known as the marital estate, along with any debt accrued by either party. When dissolving a marriage or domestic partnership, the marital/domestic estate will be subject to an equal division, although certain factors may impact this.
You and your spouse/partner may negotiate your own property settlement agreement and submit it to the court for approval. However, we believe it is wise to consult with an attorney to ensure that you fully understand all the implications of the agreement. If you and your spouse are in dispute over this matter, you can go through mediation, which leaves you in control of the outcome, or you can go to court, where a judge will determine your property settlement. At Van Voorhis & Sosna, we assist clients with all aspects and variations of property division.
Property Division Basics
The first consideration in property division is to distinguish between marital and separate property. Separate property is acquired prior to marriage and is titled to one party only, or includes gifts or inheritances received by one party only during the marriage.
Assets and property acquired during a marriage that become subject to property division can include but are not limited to:
- Your home and other real estate, both inside and outside the state
- Bank accounts
- Stock and bond portfolios
- Retirement accounts
- Art and collectibles
- Family-owned businesses or business interests
Dividing these assets can become extremely complex, especially in cases of high net worth, where complicated retirement and pension plans are involved, where assets are being undervalued or hidden to benefit one party, where businesses and professional practices are involved, and where separate property has become commingled into the marital estate.
This issue is subject to valid premarital/prenuptial agreements in which property and financial rights and responsibilities have been predetermined. It may also be impacted by spousal support awards, or where one spouse has squandered assets in bad faith prior to the divorce. Tax consequences are another important consideration that can affect how property is divided.
Our firm is dedicated to helping you achieve a fair property settlement that will put you in the best possible financial position so you can move forward with security. Our team is led by Certified Family Law Specialists who have extensive knowledge and experience in current case law, with proven negotiation and litigation skills that can be used on your behalf. We can also bring in other professional experts to ensure all property is identified, valued, and appraised properly.
Put an experienced San Francisco property division attorney on your case to ensure a fair and just settlement. Contact Van Voorhis & Sosna online or at (415) 539-0422 for a free phone consultation.
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