When a couple decides to divorce in California, dealing with the property division process is unavoidable, and often more complicated than expected. Unlike most other states, California uses community property guidelines when determining how a divorcing couple divides up their assets, which means that the couple must divide all marital property equally.
While there is some flexibility in this arrangement, it is not nearly as flexible as the property division guidelines in other states, where most of them follow equitable division guidelines. This can make the property division process lengthy and difficult to navigate.
If you and your spouse face divorce in California, be sure that you have legal guidance to successfully achieve the divorce that you need. A divorce attorney with years of experience practicing in California can lead you through each step your divorce and make sure that you keep your rights and priorities protected.
Should one of you keep the home?
One area that can prove particularly difficult for divorcing couples is deciding what to do with a marital home. For the vast majority of couples, owning a home is a huge milestone, especially in southern California. If you and your spouse do own a home, there is a great likelihood that it is your single greatest asset.
If this sounds similar to your circumstances, it is reasonable that you might have concerns which spouse, if any, keeps your home after the divorce finalizes.
Before you make this particular issue the centerpiece of your divorce, it is wise to consider the true costs of attempting to keep the home if you can. It is common for the parent who receives primary custody of a child in a divorce to also get approval from the court to keep a marital home. However, it is not always feasible to do so.
Owning a home and maintaining a mortgage is not always easy, especially on a single income in Orange County. If you want to keep the home, be sure that you understand just how much it will cost. Can you afford to refinance the mortgage if both you and your spouse are named on the mortgage note? Do you have other assets to offer your spouse to keep the asset division equal?
These are only some of the things to keep in mind while you consider your options.
Dividing up proceeds
In many cases, a pragmatic approach to property division means that you and your spouse must sell the home and split the proceeds evenly. While this is often not what either spouse really wants, it is often the most sensible choice.
Make sure that you do not sacrifice important assets unnecessarily as you navigate your divorce. Experienced legal counsel can help you see the big picture and work to build a fresh start on the other side of this difficult season.