California is a community property state. All property acquired by a married person is presumed community property. In a dissolution, each party is entitled to half of all community property. Experience matters when it comes to applying what appears to be a simple rule in real situations. Every case requires analysis to determine if there is any quasi-community or separate property. Other issues may arise with respect to property that appears to be mixed or having both a separate and community interest in them such as a business, real estate or retirement plan that existed prior to marriage. Expertise is required not only in identifying property be it tangible, intangible, vested, non-vested or simply a contingent future interest. After identification, there are valuation issues that arise that can be fairly complicated and require someone with experience to be able to prove any opinion of value offered.
We also review matters where there has been comingling of assets in order to determine if an adequate tracing can be performed. Other issues can arise with reimbursement claims for the use of separate funds to acquire community property or community property used to acquire a separate property.
Some property requires special attention such as retirement plans, disability payments, life insurance, causes of action and recoveries for things like personal injury or job discrimination.
Also never to be overlooked are education reimbursement claims as well as unauthorized gifting of community property.
Unless you have your case reviewed by someone aware of all of the potential issues you may just miss them because of a lack of awareness.
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