Property Division

In California, property division is based on the concept of “community property.” This means that property or income acquired during a marriage or domestic partnership (except for gifts or inheritances) are owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, death or annulment.

What’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.

A humorous way of saying, “Everything belongs to me.” I know you won’t mind lending me your radio. After all, what’s yours is mine, and what’s mine is mine.

California Community Property Division

What Is “Property” In California?

Community property is everything a both partners own together. This typically includes all money earned, debts incurred and property acquired during the marriage or domestic partnership.

Property is anything that can be bought or sold, such as:

  • Automobiles
  • A residence
  • Furniture
  • Clothing

Property is also anything that has value, like:

  • Bank accounts and cash
  • Security deposits on apartments
  • Pension plans
  • 401(k) plans
  • Stocks
  • Life insurance that has cash value
  • A business
  • A patent
“Except upon the written agreement of the parties, or on oral stipulation of the parties in open court, or as otherwise provided in this division, in a proceeding for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation of the parties, the court shall, either in its judgment of dissolution of the marriage, in its judgment of legal separation of the parties, or at a later time if it expressly reserves jurisdiction to make such a property division, divide the community estate of the parties equally.”

Your prenuptial agreement may include parameters about dividing your property in the event of divorce. It will be important to determine whether it is enforceable. Family law attorney Robert Gigliotti can help you find out what effect it will have on your property division.