Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu
Bay Area Family Attorneys > San Francisco Asset & Debt Division Attorney

San Francisco Asset & Debt Division Attorney

Bay Area divorce cases often involve a fight over money. Dividing a couple’s assets–and debts–can be a complex process even under the best of circumstances. And if the parties are unable to come to an agreement over how to split what they own and owe, it may be left to a judge to make a final decision.

An experienced San Francisco asset & debt division attorney can represent you throughout this process. At Cardwell Steigerwald Young, our California family law team has handled many complex divorces involving the division of property and liabilities. We know how the law works in this area, and we will make every effort to obtain a fair and equitable outcome on your behalf.

How California’s Community Property Laws Affect Your Rights

California is a “community property” state. This means that most property acquired by you and your spouse during your marriage is considered property of the marriage. The same is true for any debts incurred during the marriage. Any debt you and your spouse took on during the marriage is effectively a community debt.

That said, not everything that you own while married is necessarily community property. Either spouse can also have separate property or debts. Some common example of this include:

  • anything a spouse earned or acquired before the date of the marriage or after the date they separated;
  • anything a spouse purchased using their separate property;
  • gifts or inheritances made to just one spouse; and
  • student loan debt incurred by one spouse.

It is possible for certain debts or assets to be considered “part community” and “part separate.” For example, let’s say one spouse used money they earned before the marriage to make a down payment on a house. The couple then uses their community property earned after marriage to make the mortgage payments. The house itself would then be part-community and part-separate property.

Under California law, each spouse has an undivided 50-percent interest in any community property or debt. This means that in theory, everything must be split 50/50 in the event of a divorce or legal separation. In practice, some assets, such as a house, cannot simply be split in half. So a court may award one spouse the house and the other spouse an asset of equal value to make up the difference.

A judge may also order an unequal division of assets and debts “when economic circumstances warrant,” such as where one spouse earns substantially more than the other. A division of assets and debts may also be subject to a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement where the parties agreed to an unequal division. Such agreements are enforceable in California provided they meet certain legal requirements.

Contact Our San Francisco Asset & Debt Division Attorney Today

In many cases, divorcing or separating couples are able to come to a voluntary agreement regarding their assets and debts. It is still a good idea to work with a qualified San Francisco asset and debt division attorney who can look out for your best interests during such negotiations. Call Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP today at 415-259-5885 to schedule a consultation.

Share This Page:
Facebook Twitter LinkedIn

© 2022 - 2024 Cardwell Steigerwald Young LLP. All rights reserved.
This law firm website and legal marketing are managed by MileMark Media.