San Diego Legal Services for Division Of Property

When you go through a divorce, legal separation, or dissolution, matters like custody, support, and division of property must be addressed. Division of marital property can be particularly complex when the two parties have a lot of assets or cannot agree on the rightful owner. It can also be challenging when the parties may not have a large number of assets, but the assets that they do have are not easily divided, such as an investment property, small business, or pension. At The Law Office of Anton L. Georghiou, we offer legal assistance for those dealing with the division of marital property in San Diego County.

When you divorce, the state of California requires an equitable division of property. Division of property does not necessarily mean a physical division. Instead, the court may award each spouse a percentage of the total value of the property. Each spouse will get personal property, assets, and debts whose worth adds up to his or her percentage.

One of the first questions you may ask is “what is considered property”? There are countless types of property, but some of the most common types of property divided in a divorce are:

  • Any real estate or family residence purchased during the marriage is considered property. This includes houses, apartments, undeveloped land, and rental units.

  • Personal property and collectibles like antiques, coin collections, electronics, furniture, and other items with considerable worth.

  • Any type of business venture, including S-corporations and closely-held businesses, limited liability companies (LLC), sole proprietorships, partnerships, “mom and pop” shops, real estate investment portfolios, and professional corporations.

  • Retirement plans, Pensions, IRA accounts, 401(k) accounts, PERS, STERS, and others.

  • Insurance policies, claims, and proceeds.

  • Stock options. In most cases, deferred compensation, pensions, and stock options are considered property.

  • Restricted Stock Units (RSUs).

  • While they can be separate, inheritances, gifts, and devises can be property.

Under California state law, your property and assets may fall under four different categories listed below. Understanding these categories and how they affect your division of property can help you understand what to expect.

  • Community: Property acquired during your marriage (including pensions and 401(k) plans), unless it is legally established as a separate property source. Community property also includes all earnings and everything acquired with those earnings. All debts incurred during marriage, unless the creditor was specifically looking to the separate property of one spouse for payment, are community property debts.

  • Separate: Property established as belonging to one person. Separate property of one spouse includes gifts and inheritances given just to that spouse, personal injury awards received by that spouse, and the proceeds of a pension that vested (that is, the pensioner became legally entitled to receive it) before marriage. Property purchased with the separate funds of a spouse remain that spouse's separate property.

  • Quasi-community: Property acquired and held outside of California.

  • Commingled: A combination of community and separate property.

During the division of property you are required to disclose all assets at all times. In California automatic temporary restraining orders are put in place during divorce to prohibit either party from divesting, selling or transferring property in order to hide or liquidate community property. If a spouse tries to hide assets, the court can punish the guilty spouse through monetary sanctions such as awarding 100 percent of community property to the other spouse.

Contact A Property Division Lawyer in San Diego

At The Law Office of Anton L. Georghiou in San Diego, we possess a thorough understanding of California's complex property code and can help guide you through dividing property during a divorce. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.