Make sure you know California law as it pertains to your marital home and real estate assets.
Research shows that divorce rates are climbing for America’s 50+ population. According to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate among baby boomers has roughly doubled since the 1990s. You probably never considered what would happen with your dream home if you ever got divorced. If you and your spouse are separating, I’m here to help deal with the marital home or income property in the most efficient and dignified manner.
California is a community property state. All community property and debt acquired from the date of marriage until the marital cut-off date is divided and distributed equally. When spouses fail to reach an agreement on their own, the Superior Court splits it for them equally. This presumption affects the burden of proof and may be rebutted by either of the following:
- “a clear statement in the deed or other documentary evidence of title by which the property is acquired that the property is separate property and not community property”;
- “proof that the parties have made a written agreement that the property is separate property.”
The court has the latitude to give one spouse an asset of the community estate in order to affect an equal division of the marital estate. The court does not consider marital fault, but in the event of economic misconduct, the court may also award, from one spouse’s share, an amount the court determines he or she deliberately misappropriated to the detriment of the other spouse. A prenuptial agreement can be used to overwrite equal division of property. Absent a written agreement of the spouses, the court divides the community estate of the parties equally.
Separate property is defined as anything acquired by a spouse before the marriage, during the marriage by gift, devise, or bequest, and after the parties’ separate. Real estate not included in the division of the community estate, includes:
- all property owned by the person before marriage;
- all property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
- and certain rents, issues, and profits of the property.
As you can see, there’s a lot to think about when dividing up marital property at the time of a divorce, especially for America’s 50+ population. Going through a divorce is hard enough. For all your real estate concerns in Montecito, Hope Ranch or any of Santa Barbara’s upscale communities, call me at 805.886.9378 or email me at Cristal@montecito-estate.com.