Community and Separate Property

Berkeley Family Law Attorney for Property Division

For more than 18 years, I have helped my clients to identify and protect their separate property and community property.

Application of the rules that govern characterization and division of property at divorce can be complex.  The outcome in many cases turns on analysis of financial records and rules unique to family law in California.  An experienced attorney, who spends the time to appropriately analyze your situation, can help you make the most of your claims.

California law generally defines all property acquired during marriage as community property.  However, there are important exceptions to this general rule.  Property acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance is separate property.  Property acquired before marriage and after separation is separate property.

In addition, California treats certain kinds of property differently from other property.  For example, stock options, pensions, retirement accounts, and the proceeds of other legal actions are subject to specific statutes and cases which govern their treatment in California.  Certain types of debt, such as student loans, may be treated differently than other debts.

Often, real property has been transferred from one spouse to the other during marriage, or pre-marital separate funds have been commingled with community funds during marriage.  Tracing of separate funds may be required in order to prove your separate property entitlement.

A skilled negotiator must be able to identify these issues, apply the law, and have the quantitative abilities to determine the best outcome for you.  My background in corporate tax means that you are represented by an attorney with exceptional experience and ability.  My goal is to help you develop the relevant facts and records in your case so that any uncertainty is eliminated and your matter can be resolved without the need for expensive litigation.

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