Getting divorced can certainly be challenging emotionally, but it can be just as difficult financially. This is true even in the most seemingly amicable marital breakups. Here are a couple of tips for navigating the financial aspect of a divorce proceeding in California, particularly when it comes to property division.
Laws regarding the division of property differ from state to state. California is one of only a handful of community property states, where a married couple's assets must be split down the middle. This is the opposite of what happens in most states, which are equitable distribution states. In these states, marital property does not necessarily have to be split down the middle.
The best way for an individual to protect his or her assets during divorce is to create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The former is created before two individuals get married, whereas the latter is drafted after they have already gotten married. Another way to ensure that certain assets, such as inheritances, are safeguarded is to make sure that they are not placed in joint accounts, which is known as comingling. Instead, they ideally should be placed in separate, personal accounts.
Even if two people decide to get divorced and do not have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, they can still try to resolve their property division and other divorce issues at the negotiation table. Negotiation tends to be less stressful than going to trial, and it increases a couple's chances of achieving an outcome that is mutually satisfactory. An attorney in California can help to ensure that a divorcing spouse's rights and best interests are protected during each stage of this type of family law proceeding.