Asset and Debt Discovery Lawyer Claremont
During divorce, many people find it helpful to work with a Claremont asset and debt discovery lawyer who can help ensure that each piece of property is accounted for and itemized. This is an extremely important step during the property division process.
Assets can include pensions and retirement, houses and vehicles, and household goods. In some cases, even family businesses are considered assets.
Debts include credit card bills, mortgages and other obligations.
In the state of California, assets and debts must be equitably divided between both spouses during a divorce.
Pension and Retirement Division
More than 46 million people across the country are covered by employer provided retirement plans. In many cases, couples who divorce are entitled to part of the other party’s pension or retirement plan.
Every case is different, so it’s best to talk to a pension and retirement division attorney who can give you case-specific legal advice that’s tailored to your situation.
Service members who divorce often have to give up part of their military pensions. The military has its own rules about dividing pensions, so it’s important that you discuss your situation with your lawyer as soon as possible.
Often, service members only need to divide their pension by the portion of their career during which they were married – but many people automatically assume that an ex-spouse gets 50 percent.
Do I Have to Share My Retirement With My Ex?
Nobody can predict how a judge will rule, but you need to be prepared for the potential that you will need to share your retirement benefits with your ex-spouse after you are divorced.
Division of Property in California
In most cases, couples going through a divorce can work out their own separation of property agreement. However, even if you do work out your own agreement, the judge assigned to your case needs to sign off on it. If the judge feels that the division is not equitable or leaves one party at a disadvantage, he or she may ask you to modify it (or modify it in the courtroom).
California law recognizes two types of property: community and separate.
What is Community Property?
For the most part, property that a couple acquires during the marriage is considered community property. There are some exceptions, though, such as inheritances and gifts intended for only one of the parties.
Dividing community property can be complicated if the couple cannot agree on which items belong to which person. If the couple cannot reach an agreement on their own, every piece of property needs to be accounted for and itemized so that the courts can come up with an equitable solution.
Debts can also be community property. This is the case with joint credit cards, some mortgage loans, and a number of other obligations that couples incur together.
What is Separate Property?
Typically, separate property refers to property that each spouse had prior to the marriage. If you already owned your vehicle, home, or collection of antiques prior to the marriage, for example, those things may be considered separate property.
The same is true with debts that you owed prior to your marriage.
However, every case is different. What happens in one case may not happen in yours, so is always best to rely on your lawyer’s advice when it comes to what types of property you have and what you will need to divide.
What Happens to Our Family Business During Divorce?
If you and your spouse own a business together, you will need to have an accurate business valuation. You don’t have to sell or divide the business, but you do need to let the court know exactly how much it is worth so the judge can make the appropriate concessions to each party.
Why Asset and Debt Discovery is So Important During Divorce
Because California law requires fair and equitable distribution of assets and debts, it is extremely important that you provide the court with an accurate snapshot of what you have.
Naturally, if you and your spouse are able to reach an agreement on your own, the process will be much simpler (and it will cost you much less in legal fees).
Talk to a Claremont Asset and Debt Discovery Lawyer Today
If you’re going through a divorce, it’s a good idea to talk to a Claremont asset and debt discovery lawyer early in the process. Even if you anticipate reaching an agreement with your spouse, it’s best to be prepared for anything.
Call us at 909-466-7661 or contact us online for an initial consultation. We’ll be able to provide you with case-specific legal advice and let you know what to expect as far as retirement, pensions and other property division issues.