Divorce or Separation in Orange County: Understanding Property and Debt

Divorce or Separation in Orange County: Understanding Community Property
How Do I get Alimony?

The property and debts part of a divorce or legal separation is often so complicated and the cost of making a mistake is so high that you should talk to a lawyer before you file your papers, especially if you have anything of value (or if you have significant debt).

NOTE! If you signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, talk to a lawyer to see how this occurance affects your case before you file your papers with the court.

Understanding Property
Property is anything that can be bought or sold, like:

-A house,
-Furniture, or

It can also be anything that has value, such as:

-Life insurance that has cash value,
-Bank accounts and cash,
-Security deposits on apartments,
-401(k) plans,
-Pension plans,
-Businesses, or

In a divorce or a legal separation, the court ill make all the choices about how the property is divided amongst the parties involved. Even if you've divided all or certain areas of your property between yourselves, the court will still need to make a formal order about these issues but this doesn't mean that you'd need to bring your case in front of a judge.

Often, couples are able to divide their property (and their debts) by agreement, but when you get divorced, the judge has to sign off on that agreement to make sure things are fair. Until that happens, the property you got during the marriage or domestic partnership belongs to the 2 of you, no matter who is using it or who has control of it. The same is true of debts. If you divide them between you without a court order (or without a judge signing off on your agreement), the debt continues to belong to the 2 of you and you are both responsible for it, even if the 2 of you split it up informally.

To understand how to divide your property and debt so you can finalize your divorce or legal separation, you have to understand how property laws work in California when a couple is married or in a domestic partnership.

For assistance by an experienced and knowledgeable property settlement attorney call Yanez & Associates. The family law attorneys are located in Tustin Orange County.

Divorce or Separation in Orange County: Understanding Community Property
How Do I get Alimony?

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