As a community property state, California divides property equally between both parties in a divorce. Division of marital property, also known as equitable distribution, is the one of the most contested family law issues in a divorce proceeding, coming second after issues involving children. Obtaining experienced Kern County family law lawyers can be the difference you need in order to secure what is rightfully yours. The division of marital property must be decided before a divorce is finalized. Equitable distribution is an essential consideration in any divorced due to the financial worth implications, but also towards matters of sentimental value. In the event that both parties cannot come to an agreement on how debt and assets should be divided, the courts will first decide what is marital property, also known as community property, and what is separate property. A judge will require that all marital property is equally divided between the two.

Courts presume any property acquired during marriage is community property. However, this can be refuted by any of the following:

  • All property was owned by one party before marriage;
  • All property was acquired by one partner after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
  • Certain rents, issues, and profits of the property.

To aid the process in determining which assets and debts are community property, the court requires a timeline beginning with the date of the marriage to the date of filing the petition, date of entry into valid separation agreement, or date that the judge determines to be just and equitable under the circumstances. Assets and debts brought into the marriage that was maintained as separate property during marriage will be separate property coming out of the marriage.

Debt distribution is an equal part of division of marital property. In regards to debt division, usually debt is divided equally between both parties, as to what is fair for both. In some cases, where one party irresponsibly or secretly recklessly spent money or racked up a debt, this may be the individual’s liability and you may be able to remove your name from that debt. If your name is on a debt that belongs to the other party, you may benefit from removing your name from that debt to stop creditors from going after you. Division of marital property can be a difficult and arduous task to sort through. You need to protect your rights during this complex process. Your experienced Bakersfield divorce attorneys will advise you on your rights and help differentiate what rightfully is yours to claim.

Contact Experienced Kern County Family Law Lawyers

For comprehensive representation in any Divorce and Division of Marital Property matter, call Azemika & Azemika Law. Our Bakersfield divorce attorneys specialize in bringing you fast, affordable representation with effective solutions customized for your specific circumstances. We will fight for and protect you and your family during the separation and divorce process. Contact us today online or by phone 661-322-8166 to arrange an initial consultation with our attorneys.

FAQs About Divorce

First, you or your spouse must be a resident of California for at least six months, and be a resident of the county you’re filing in three months in the county you’re filing in, before filing a dissolution of marriage. Once you file for divorce and serve the divorce petition to your spouse, you will have to wait about six months for your divorce to finalize.

Any property that qualifies as community property will be divided between both parties. However, any property that a spouse acquired before marriage or domestic partnership is considered separate property, and legally belongs to that spouse. Sometimes, these two can become intertwined, or commingled. With acute attention to detail, our divorce attorneys can help you sort out and protect your financial assets.

There are a variety of factors that the court must take in before deciding if spousal support should be awarded. Some factors include a spouse’s earning capacity, spouse’s standard of living established during marriage, age and health of the spouse, and whether there are children to support as well. A qualified attorney can help answer these questions for you in-depth and protect your interests.

In custody cases, the court does not let the child choose whom he or she lives with. The court may take the child’s wishes into consideration if the child is “of sufficient age and capacity to reason.” If willing, children aged 14 and older may express their opinions concerning child custody, but the court is not required to follow their wishes.


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