Property division is a big topic of discussion during the divorcing process. People often enter into marriages with property and accumulate more during their relationship.
When it’s time to part with your possession, you may need to know what you’ll have to consider:
California’s community property laws
In California, assets are divided by community property laws. In other words, everything owned in a marriage is usually subject to an even split during a divorce. Community property may include:
- Income earned by both spouses in a marriage, which might include salary, investments, stocks, retirement or savings
- Houses and furniture purchased during a marriage, which may account for real estate purchases and mortgage
- Any debts accumulated during a marriage
In an uncontested divorce, both parties may come to a fair agreement as to how assets are divided.
Pets aren’t property
If you and your spouse gained a pet during a marriage, then you may also need to discuss where they go after the divorce. California doesn’t consider dogs, cats, fish, birds, horses or lizards as property and, instead, considers the well-being of the pet.
Because the well-being of a pet isn’t clearly defined, a judge may decide on an owner after considering a few factors:
- Who maintains, feeds, grooms and cares for the pet?
- Who pays for vet visits?
- Who is financially stable to keep a pet?
- Who is the pet registered to?
- Is there a child that’s bonded to the pet?
- Is the pet a support animal?
When you’re ready to discuss asset division for your divorce, you may need help from an experienced attorney to step in and provide you with more choices.