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Division of Assets & Debts

Because California is a community property state, division of assets and debts in divorce can pose a significant challenge.  Many factors can affect the final property settlement. At Shaffer & Associates, we have achieved equitable property settlement agreements for countless clients in situations that span a wide range of marital asset levels. Often the complexities of a divorce are amplified by concerns regarding division of assets and debts. This is especially true for clients with high-value property and significant individual and marital investments and debt, including:

  • Investment assets
  • Family-owned businesses and closely held corporations
  • Professional practice interests, inventory, and investments
  • High value homes such as vacation homes and investment real estate
  • IRS tax debt
  • Credit card debt

At Shaffer & Associates, we focus exclusively on family law matters. Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating divorce cases, drafting marital agreements and handling divorce and property settlements. We ensure that all aspects of your family law case, including financial matters, are fully developed prior to the final divorce decree. We represent individuals throughout San Diego County and provide comprehensive legal services related to property division in divorce.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

California is one of nine states recognizing community property division.

  • Community property describes all assets (and debts) that were jointly acquired during marriage. Each spouse is seen as contributing equally, regardless of individual income, so community property is divided evenly. This means that each spouse receives one-half of these assets, which can include money, real estate, retirement plans, furniture, automobiles, and possessions.
  • Separate property is property that belongs to one spouse and is not subject to division in divorce. This includes property that a spouse brought to the marriage (a house, a business, pension funds) or assets or debts acquired in the name of one spouse during the marriage (an inheritance, personal injury award, or education loans).

San Diego Division of Debt Attorneys

We work with professional appraisers, accountants, and actuaries to properly value marital assets, then work diligently with you to tailor an innovative and fair proposal, or properly evaluate the other party’s proposal. Our experience, skill, knowledge, and ability to fashion tailored settlement agreements to meet your needs are part of the professional legal services we provide. 

Shaffer & Associates is committed to protecting your marital rights and to ensuring that you receive an equitable distribution of all assets and debts. Our experienced San Diego divorce attorneys can help ensure that property division is fair by identifying all relevant factors and identifying and assigning ownership and correct valuations to all assets and liabilities, including, when appropriate, the use of forensic accountants to locate hidden assets, business valuation experts, and other financial experts. 

Learn more below about property division or contact Shaffer & Associates to consult with us about the division of assets and debts in your family law case.

Shaffer & Associates is dedicated to helping people all across San Diego County, including Downtown San Diego, Point Loma, La Jolla, Scripps Ranch, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Carlsbad, Rancho Bernardo and Poway. We also work with families in Orange County, Riverside County and Los Angeles County.

Community Property

California is one of a handful of “community property” states in which any assets acquired by a husband or wife during their marriage are considered community property, subject to equal division upon divorce. Spouses can make a mutual dec… Read More

Complex Property Issues

At Shaffer & Associates, we know that even a seemingly straightforward divorce is still a monumental event for our clients. When divorce is complicated by complex property issues and significant assets, the process can be even more overwhelming… Read More

Pensions & Retirement Benefits

The division of pension and retirement benefits is one of the most complicated aspects of property division in a California divorce. Because California is a community property state, the law directs (unless parties agree otherwise) that marital prop… Read More

Division of Property & Business

For California couples that have an interest in investment property, or a family business or other closely-held business, division of the business or property is a critical issue in a divorce. Along with the marital home, and pensions and retirement… Read More

Division of Debt

The division of debt in a California divorce can be complicated. Issues in division include characterizing the debt as marital or separate, deciding whether one spouse is entitled to reimbursement for payment of debt, and dividing debt equally in ac… Read More

Property Issues for Unmarried Couples

Many California couples live together for years or decades without choosing to marry or register a domestic partnership. In their time together, the lives of such couples become intertwined, including their financial lives. If a cohabiting couple sep… Read More

San Diego Bar AssociationSection of Family LawCalifornia State Bar Family Law American Bar Association Avvo Clients' Choice 2014