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The complexities of property division in California divorces

Divorce is not something that most married couples want to spend a lot of time thinking about. When problems arise, they work together to try to come up with solutions to the challenges they are facing. Many will often emerge from these difficult situations with a renewed sense of commitment to their marriage.

However, over time, things can change. Some small disagreements may become frequent arguments. If one of the spouses experiences a significant life-changing event, such as the loss of a job, it can place a lot of strain upon a marriage. These couples may decide that, despite all of the efforts toward making things work, that a divorce is the best option for their future.

Some couples may have a plan in place by the time they file for divorce. They know how they want to divide their property, and how they want to share custody of the children. They simply need the agreement reviewed and approved in order to begin moving forward.

In some situations, one of the spouses may be surprised by the decision to end the marriage. This could make the divorce much more difficult emotionally, and lead to problems between the spouses as they try to come to an agreement. When this happens, the couple will turn to the courts to help them resolve any outstanding issues.

California courts consider many factors when deciding how to divide the couple's marital property. It will be necessary to determine what property is to be considered "marital" at the time of the divorce. Certain property, such as an inheritance or gift specifically given to one spouse, may be excluded from the property that will need to be divided. Additionally, any assets that a spouse brings into the marriage could also be excluded, but if the value of these assets increased during the marriage, this increase could be considered marital property.

The parties also must address any outstanding debt that they may have together. This can include credit cards, even if the card is only used by one of the spouses. The couple may also have to address issues connected to a mortgage that they have on their home.

The division of marital property can be an extremely complex process, which very high stakes for the spouses. Any agreements that they make at this time may be unable to be modified, absent evidence of wrongdoing by one of the parties. Speak to an experienced family law attorney to learn more about the divorce process, and what you need to do to protect yourself during this difficult time.


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