California is a Community Property state. This means that, sans a premarital agreement, from your date of marriage to your date of separation what’s yours is theirs and what’s their’s is yours. This applies to both assets and debts. For example, you may have purchased a home with your spouse during marriage. And you may want to stay in the home or be paid the equity in the home. Or, your spouse started a business before or during marriage such that they may owe you one-half the value of the business during the marriage. Also, your spouse may work for a company and has been contributing to a 401(k) or acquiring stock and now they owe you one-half the value of that asset.
In each instance, you may find it challenging to 1) calculate what you owe or what you are owed, or 2) thereafter divide the asset by law. Contact Dan to discuss how to protect your rights to ensure you retain what is yours.
Remember, you will also be responsible for one-half the debts your spouse acquired during the marriage and vice versa. The task of valuing and ultimately dividing these debts can be complicated. But all debts may not be your responsibility. Make sure to contact Dan to discuss your rights and responsibilities when dividing community assets and debts. Your financial future depends on it.