What is “Separate Property” in a North County Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Divorce

As we noted in yesterday’s blog on “community property” California is a community property state when it comes to the division of assets at the time of a divorce. This means any asset acquired by either of the parties during the course of the marriage is considered to be “community property” and will be divided equally, with a few exceptions.
Separate property is any asset that was owned by either party prior to the date of the marriage. Generally speaking, if you owned an asset prior to your marriage it may be considered a separate asset and is not subject to division. If you were given certain types of gifts or received an inheritance during the course of your marriage it may also be considered as separate property.
The issue becomes clouded when marital assets are used in support of a “separate property” asset. For example, if the wife owns a house prior to the marriage and is renting it out this would be considered a separate property. However, if the husband does substantial work on the house, and if marital funds are used for improvements on the rental property or to pay expenses or taxes those “investments” can be considered as community property, and each party would be entitled to half of that portion of the asset’s overall value.
This can become quite complex and when business ownership or real estate is at issue the financial interests can be quite substantial. This is why it is so important to work with the experienced attorneys at Burke & Domercq. We have decades of experience in negotiation, mediation and litigation associated with property characterization and division here in North County.
Our Carlsbad based divorce and family law attorneys protect your interests and work to maximize your success throughout all property division matters as well as custody and support considerations. If you are concerned about the division of property in a Carlsbad or North County divorce we invite you to contact us or call 760-712-3741 to schedule an appointment with one of our proven and seasoned lawyers.