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Protecting Your Assets in California Before and During a Divorce

protecting assets california divorce

California is a community property state. In a community property state, any property or debt acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses equally. There are exceptions to this law, namely inheritances and personal gifts received during the marriage. If you utilize these funds separately to acquire property, then that asset may not fall under community property law.  If a divorce occurs, you will need to prove that an item is a separate property, as well as identify and trace the source of income used to pay for said property.

Another exception is a transmutation agreement. This exemption is where parties agree to change the asset from community property to separate property. Such an agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties and should expressly state that each party understands what community rights they are waiving, and each party should have independent legal counsel before entering such an agreement.   

hiding assets during divorceAs you can see, community property law, separate property, and the laws surrounding marital assets are multifaceted and complicated. If you are facing a divorce, then you will need a skilled divorce attorney to help you navigate these asset intricacies. This article will detail some of the methods for protecting your assets before and during the divorce process in California.

Hiding Assets During a Divorce

Hiding assets during a divorce is not an advisable practice. Some people diminish the value of some assets or overestimate expenses. These practices are ill-advised, and a divorce lawyer can guide you to avoid any potential missteps with your assets. You want to protect your assets without breaking the law in the process.

Prenuptial Agreement and Postnuptial Agreement

A prenuptial agreement is a contract drafted before two people get married. This agreement specifies which assets belong to each party in case of a divorce. Those assets do not fall under community property law.

A postnuptial agreement is another legal tool that couples can use to opt out of California’s community property laws. A postnuptial agreement is like a prenuptial agreement, as it protects your assets in case of a divorce, but it occurs during the marriage.  A postnuptial agreement can transmute community property to separate property or waive either party’s right to separate property. Assets can be assigned to a party as separate property or treated as separate property regardless of it being community property as acquired during the marriage. 

how to hide assets during divorceWhat to Do if You Think Your Spouse Is Hiding Assets

If you think your spouse is hiding assets during a divorce, you should retain a qualified divorce attorney for guidance.    It may be necessary to hire a forensic accountant or a financial investigator to confirm your suspicions.

Both parties are required to disclose all assets and liabilities in a divorce in California.   Should one party intentionally fail to disclose an asset that is not divided in a divorce judgment, generally, the courts in California retain jurisdiction to divide omitted assets when uncovered.   If the failure to disclose was not inadvertent, then a party may have a right to request sanctions against the non-disclosing party. 

Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney in La Jolla

There are several ways to protect your assets before and during a divorce in the State of California. The best method for protecting your assets is to hire an experienced and professional La Jolla divorce attorney to represent your interests. Yelman & Associates possesses over 75 years of combined experience. We are here to provide you with options to make the divorce process less complicated, less stressful, and more empowering. Call us today at 1-619-282-1107 for a complimentary telephone consultation.

Find more like this: California Divorce Law, Divorce Law

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