Division of Marital Assets

The division of a couple’s assets and debts is considered one of the most difficult and complex factors in a divorce. Marital property includes

  • houses,
  • cars,
  • retirement benefits (pensions and 401k plans),
  • cash,
  • business interests,
  • stocks,
  • bonds,
  • bank accounts,
  • personal property, and
  • other things of value.

An experienced attorney for division of marital assets in Laguna Hills, CA can diffuse some of the feelings and emotions that can come up during this phase of a divorce and bring a common-sense approach to the division of assets and property, while also advocating and protecting the rights and wishes of his of her client. Call 949-716-2102 to get in touch with our experienced Laguna Hills family attorney in California.


Types of Divorce in California

Most people are not aware of the types of divorce that exist. It is generally understood that divorce is simply a legally married couple deciding to call off their committed relationship then somehow split up their belongings with legal help. There is more to divorce than most people anticipate. In this article, we will discuss the different aspects of divorce, and we will give some pointers for readers to consider when going through a divorce themselves or when someone they know is.

The first thing to consider when going through a divorce is how you perceive it when it’s happening. Understanding the form of divorce you and your spouse prefer can make property division a lot easier than it seems.

If you’re going through a divorce, it is important to have a reliable attorney by your side. Schedule a consultation with an experienced California divorce and property division attorney today!

Uncontested Divorce

Uncontested divorce involves one or both parties going straight to the court upon fully agreeing with each other to file the necessary divorce papers. There are no trials in an unconsented divorce which makes the process easier considering there are fewer costs and time involved since everything is taken care of by the court.

Contested Divorce

Contested divorce involves many disagreements between both parties about property division, whom the children will live with, and spousal support. In this scenario, each spouse has an attorney to support them and a judge that oversees the entire process until the divorce is pretty decided. Contested divorce tends to be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining.

Other divorces fall somewhere between an unconsented and contested divorce. In these scenarios, collaborative options such as mediation and arbitration are provided for the couple to be represented by the counsel without covering all costs involved in a trial.

The three(3) options for divorce listed above can work for any couple depending on the intensity of disagreement faced and how willing each spouse is to work together until a fair and ultimate solution is reached.

If you’re planning to get divorced, it is important to have a reliable attorney by your side. Schedule a consultation with an experienced California divorce and property division attorney today!


Types of Property Each Spouse Owns

Debt is also subject to division. Marital debts, also referred to as liabilities, can include:

  •  mortgages,
  • credit card accounts,
  • car loans, and
  • other amounts of money the is owed to third parties.

Usually, any assets or liability accumulated during the marriage is considered marital and subject to division. If you need help determining which of your debts are divided in a divorce, call our trusted divorce attorney in Laguna Hills, CA today.

We help you protect what matters most.

Need help regarding child/spousal support, custody dispute, restraining order, property divisions, or family business? Our Laguna Hills family law and estate planning attorneys will help secure your future!

Division of Debt in a Divorce Proceeding

Division of property is a key area of concern during a divorce. It is inevitable that the question, “Who takes the house?” will be raised.

In the United States, state law dictates the division of property upon divorce. The decision will depend on whether the parties live in a separate property state or a community property state.

Separate Property

Separate properties are the properties that belong to you and have belonged to you before you got married. Examples include inheritances or gifts of pension from your parents you’d been gifted with pre-marriage.

Community Property

Community property – Everything that both parties earned and acquired throughout being married. Examples include one party’s hard-earned money that was placed into a joint account during the marriage. Another example would be a house bought with money funded by both spouses during the marriage.


Educating yourself about the types of properties you and your spouse are entitled to can make dividing property easier upon divorce.

If you’re planning to get divorced, it is important to have a reliable attorney by your side. Schedule a consultation with an experienced California divorce and property division attorney today!


Frequently Asked Questions

Equitable Distribution of Marital Assets & Liabilities

California statutes and case law provide for an “equitable distribution” of marital assets and liabilities. Marital property is not necessarily divided equally, but equitably or fairly between parties. Courts decide equitable distribution before determining the possibility of spousal support.

How does the division process start?

Most often, the division process begins with identifying what property and assets need to be divided between spouses. All property or assets acquired throughout the marriage can be subject to division. There are some exceptions: inheritance, gifts, or certain property identified in a pre-nuptial agreement. Once the property is rightly identified, it is then divided equitably.

How is property divided in divorce?

Couples are giving the option of working out a plan for property division on their own, and as long as it is reasonable, the court typically approves the couple’s wishes. The court will intervene, however, if the couple is incapable of coming to a reasonable agreement and will divide property as it sees fit.

When doing so, the court will look into many factors, including:

  • the value of property,
  • the contributions each spouse made during the marriage,
  • the economic circumstances of each spouse, and
  • the fluctuations of property value during the marriage.

Property division should not be seen as a way to “get back at” or gain revenge on a spouse who did something to betray you. California is a no-fault state and will not consider either spouse’s behavior to come to a decision regarding property division.

How are businesses divided in divorce?

When there is business involved with the marriagethe division process becomes even more complicated. Sometimes, divorces in which one or both spouses owns a business require a financial expert to assist in the valuation of the business.

Is it possible for me and my spouse to do the property division?

The answer is –YES! And here are some tips to get you started:

Make a list of your belongings collaboratively.

Collaborate and make a list of all the items that you both own jointly. Doing this can help you both identify who invested more in what or who news which item more than the other does. Properly discussing your options can save both parties the hassles and costs of making these big decisions without collaborating and making fair decisions that both parties agree on.

Place values on your properties.

Considering that all the property you both own costs money, it would be beneficial for both parties to discuss and agree on the prices of owned items properly. In cases where you’re both not aware of the current prices in the market or not sure of the value of your property, you can get opinions from a third party with the expertise.

Allocate properties listed.

When going through the list of properties made, allocate items to each other based on reasons such as who needs it more or who paid the most for the item. It would be a good idea to start allocating from the property of the highest value.

Get approval from a judge.

In the scenario when you and your spouse have already decided and agreed on the decision of properties, the court process will likely be more straightforward for you unless there are some background checks required. Dividing property before signing papers with the court can save both parties a lot of time and money.

My spouse’s behavior caused our divorce — does that impact the property share?

Typically, most US states don’t consider the fault of divorce in the process of dividing marital property upon divorce. For example, if your spouse cheated on you and that is the cause of your divorce or one of it, that doesn’t guarantee that you could get more of the property share than your spouse would. However, faults may be considered as a factor when discussing if one party should continue the other or not.

A divorce can happen to anyone, any time and anywhere, even if it was the last thing you thought about on your wedding day or during the years you spent being married. You must educate yourself and someone you know about the steps to take and consider before going through the worst.


If you’re going through a divorce, it is important to have a reliable attorney by your side. Schedule a consultation with an experienced California divorce and property division attorney today!


Why You Need a California Property Division Attorney

Here at Trevino Law, we advocate about family divorce and give our all to make sure that people who come to us with questions leave with all the answers they need. Schedule a consultation with an experienced California divorce and property division attorney in our Laguna Hills family law firm today!


Call Our Laguna Hills Divorce Attorneys for Division for Marital Assets!

If you are going through a divorce and have questions about the division of assets and debts, we can provide assistance. Please don’t hesitate to contact Trevino Law, Inc. at 949-716-2102 or use our online contact form for more information.

Tips for Leaving an Abusive Relationship, Getting a Restraining Order and Building Your Life Again.

Get Your FREE Book Copy!

15 Ways to Protect Yourself When Leaving an Abusive Relationship

Mail a copy?

A guide to help make decisions about your divorce, and get peace of mind—all without leaving your home.

Get Your FREE Book Copy!

Divorce Lawyers

Trevino Law

Whether you’re dealing with legal affairs or planning for the future of your family, our Orange County family law and estate planning attorneys can help you take control of your life.

Popup Form