In California, property and assets that are acquired during the marriage are the joint and equal property of both spouses. There are a few notable exceptions, including gifts and inheritances. In order for property to be divided, it must first be inventoried and categorized. What are the differences between community property and separate property?
According to California Family Code Section 760:
It is important to note that the property must be acquired while domiciled in the state, because issue can be taken if property was acquired while domiciled in another state. For example, if the couple moved outside of California at any time during their marriage for a period of time that altered their state of domicile, property acquired during that time may be subject to the laws of the state of domicile, not California.
California law specifically allows a spouse to transmute the characterization of property during the marriage. This is known as transmutation. Property may be transmuted:
In order for the transmutation of real or personal property to be valid, it must be reduced to writing in an express declaration that is made by and consented to the spouse whose interest in the property is adversely affected. It is essential for the parties to produce the proper documentation to accurately classify and categorize property. (Family Code Section 852)
For property to be considered both community and separate, it could have been acquired prior to the marriage, and therefore separate property. However, if “marital effort” was “expended,” for example, in the case of common project, then it can be both community and personal. The amount of community property and personal property interest will be determined via a mathematical calculation.
It is essential to determine whether property is community or separate if an accurate distribution is to be made during dissolution of marriage. The San Diego divorce lawyers at Yelman & Associates have experience in all divorce matters, including property characterization and division. We are aggressive and proactive family law attorneys who help our clients as they go through a most challenging and often emotionally devastating time. We will always seek to negotiate in an amicable manner; however, we will not hesitate to take the case to court when the need presents itself. To schedule a complimentary phone consultation, call The Family Law Attorneys at Yelman & Associates at (619) 282-1107 or (760) 480—8400.
. . . you went above and beyond the call. You were experienced, clever and did your homework . . . You researched and obtained more in court than what we asked for and we won, won won. A million Thanks. [UCCJEA]
I am exceedingly pleased with the results. . . your diligent efforts on my behalf will benefit my family not only now but in the immediate and long term future. I was very selective when choosing an attorney . . . I realize now how important that decision really was. . .[Divorce]
San Diego, CA
I had been through two attorneys . . . I needed a powerhouse in my corner. . .The true test was when we [went] into court . . . I walked out of the court room amazed with her talent and care. . . My only regret is that I didn’t have her from the beginning . . .
I am extremely appreciative for all you have done and continue to do for me. I truly believe someone was looking out for me when I found you to represent me at that horrific time in my life . . . You and you entire staff are the dream team and I am thankful for all you do!! Thanks to every one of you!!
San Diego, CA
Although I never plan to be in this situation again, I would recommend Yelman & Associates to anyone going through a divorce. Of the many lawyers I have encountered within the courthouse . . [you are] . . . one of the most competent, intelligent, and genuinely caring attorneys . . .
My wife and I would like to say thank you for the outstanding work you did for us. Words cannot give our appreciation justice . . . Your service and knowledge was second to none . . . We will proudly recommend you and your firm to anyone we know who may be in need of legal assistance.
San Diego, CA
Charles Kim Jr.
to set up a
Yelman & Associates
3333 Camino Del Rio South
San Diego, Ca 92108