What is Separate Property in a North County Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

There are three basic types of property to be divided during the proceedings of a divorce in Carlsbad, Oceanside, Encinitas or North County:
Community Property
Quasi-Community Property
Separate Property
What is considered to be “separate” property in a California divorce and how is separate property managed or divided? Under California Family Law, separate property generally includes any gift or inheritance given to one of the individual parties, property obtained before the marriage occured, and any property that is acquired after the service of the divorce papers in your case.
However, the division of “separate” property may not be as easy as it appears on the surface. For example, if the wife owned a rental property prior to the marriage one might assume it was the separate property of the wife and she might wish to exclude it from the division of community property during the divorce.
This will be the case if the rental property was managed entirely with separate funds established prior to the marriage, or from the proceeds of rental income or other funds specifically associated with that property that were kept in a separate account. If the wife wished to sell that property during the marriage and keep all of the proceeds as her own she should have a separate bank account for this purpose and all monies associated with that property should be kept distinct and separated from any joint accounts or other marital funds.
This is where things usually become quite complex. In many of these cases the marital funds and assets of the couple are used to maintain the “separate” property of one of the spouses. By commingling the funds of a married couple with a separate asset, the community obtains an interest in that property. The community interest must be equitably divided between the parties. How do you separate the “community” interest from the “separate” property?
Now a complicated process unfolds to legally assess the community’s interest in the “separate” asset as it has invested funds and is generally deserving to receive the benefit of appreciation, increase in value, profit or other financial gain experienced as a result of the investment of the community funds. In some cases the asset may have become community property entirely.
This is why it is important to work with the experienced and proven family law and divorce attorneys at Burke and Domercq. We have decades of expertise in complex community property cases including those with commingled funds and others such as interests in a professional practice or business ownership.
Protect your interests and your property. Contact us, or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Carlsbad divorce lawyers.