California law states all property acquired or earned during a marriage is community property. When a couple divorces, they each receive essentially half of the community property. In some cases one spouse may receive more property as spousal support in addition to the equitable property division.
Many couples have more property in real estate and retirement accounts than in cash. When a couple divides community property there may not be enough cash to cover all the community property. For example, the couple may own a home worth $300,000, a retirement account worth $200,000 and liquid assets in the amount of $100,000. The total assets would be worth $600,000 which means each spouse would be entitled to $300,000 but only $100,000 is available in cash. One spouse may have to give up more than half of his/her share of the retirement assets to create an equal division of property. One spouse may get the house which would result in an additional $150,000 marital value. The other spouse may get all the cash and more than half of the retirement account in order for each spouse to end up with half, or $300,000 in assets. The tax consequences of such divisions should be carefully analyzed.
Getting Legal Help
Every couple creates their own mix of property division based on community property and available assets for division. An experienced attorney can help you create a method of property division which minimizes tax consequences. Experienced Sacramento Family Law Attorney Hal Bartholomew can help you get through your divorce with respect and compassion. Contact Bartholomew & Wasznicky LLP today for knowledgeable and respectful representation. Call us at (916) 546-4393.