What Can I Keep as Separate Property in a Carlsbad Divorce?

Pierre Domercq Community Property Division

Are you searching for information about what you can keep as separate property in a Carlsbad or San Diego divorce?  What is the difference between the characterization of “community property” and that which a spouse may keep apart from property division as “separate property” in the divorce?

Any asset or debt acquired or obtained before the marriage or after the date of separation should be considered to be the separate property of the individual it belongs to.

Generally speaking, community property will include any debt or asset which is entered into or obtained by either or both of the spouses from the date of the marriage until the date of separation with few exceptions.  Community property is to be divided equally between the parties under California Family Code.  A few of the primary examples of exceptions to community property characterization involve gifts from anyone outside of the marriage as well as inheritances.

If a member of your family or a friend gives you a present, a gift, our Family Code presumes it was meant to be and remain your own separate property.  If you have been individually named in a will or a trust, any benefits or income you receive or earn from the will or trust you should be able to keep as separate property in a Carlsbad or San Diego divorce.

There is one significant exception to an asset which might otherwise consider to be “separate property:” Any contributions by the “community” to enhance, protect or grow the separate property may result in a situation known as “commingling.”  If funds or the work of a spouse were contributed or used to support what might otherwise be a separate asset the community may have a partial claim against that otherwise separate asset.

A simple example might be the ownership of a home by one of the spouses prior to the marriage.  After the marriage the home needs significant repairs.  Not only are marital funds used to provide for these repairs but the non-owning spouse actually performed a lot of the repair work themselves.  Any contribution by the community in the form of unpaid labor or funds could result in a commingled claim on what otherwise be considered to be a separate asset.

The question of “what can I keep as separate property in a Carlsbad or San Diego divorce?” can actually be quite legally and financially complex.  This is why it is important to seek the experienced and proven advice and counsel of the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq. We invite you to review the strong recommendations of former clients and the legal industry, protect your own interests and contact us or call 760-434-3330 to schedule an appointment for a safe, confidential and private consultation with one of our experienced and proven Certified Family Law Specialists.