Law Office of Stephen W. Penn and Associates

How does asset division work in California?

As a resident of California who is currently going through a divorce, you understand that state law has a big hand in determining how the proceedings will go. For example, asset and property division are dictated by California state law.

The Judicial Branch of California has a page focused on dividing property and debts after a divorce. They state that when you're settling a case on your own without court intervention, you should aim to divide your assets equally. This does not necessarily mean having an even number of items. Rather, it means having items that equal roughly the same value. This could mean splitting certain joint accounts, such as checking or savings, down the middle. It could also mean one spouse getting a smaller account and a few extra items that are equal in value to a bigger account.

There are some cases in which settling a case is not something you are willing or able to do. If you take your case to a court, the judge will be the one to decide what an equitable division of your assets might be. This can be a helpful option if you can't reach an agreement on your own, or even with a third party mediator. However, it is possible that you might have less freedom to decide who will get what if you take your case to higher authority.

Either way, California state laws do treat joint property and assets in a way in which they are to be divided equally after a divorce. If you are struggling to find a way to do so, you may benefit from speaking to an attorney.

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  • Henry P. Collada Memorial Award 2012