Equitable Property Division

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The Law Office of David C. Stone works diligently to ensure all clients receive an equal share of the community assets. At first glance, this seems to be a simple calculation with no issues; however, it is quite a technical area of family law with numerous exceptions in equitable property division laws.

A Community Property residence is normally the largest individual asset that the parties will need to divide. Numerous issues arise when dividing real property, such as title, characterization of down payment, reimbursements, and any issues regarding wasting of the asset. It is of utmost importance for the appropriate discovery to be propounded, because the discovery process establishes the necessary evidence to accomplish an equal division of the residence.

Other assets such as stocks, bonds, personal property, and other items of value also need to be divided. The division of such assets can be divided in-kind (each person getting the same number of shares of stock) or equalized (a value is established and the party receiving the asset would pay the other party half of that value).

Retirement Accounts are another issue that requires an agreement or an order of the court. Pensions can be divided by way of QDRO or by the party receiving the asset and then equalizing the other party by paying half of that assets value to the other party.

Debts are treated the same as assets, and must be divided equally. However, the first step in analyzing an obligation is to first characterize the item as either community property or separate property. The next issue regarding debts is whether or not one party is entitled to reimbursement for payments made toward a particular obligation with his separate property funds.

There are numerous methods for dividing assets and debts. The Law Office of David C. Stone is familiar with all possible methods. As an example, the parties’ household goods can be auctioned between parties or an actual auction for the public could be used to determine the value of the asset, and then divide the sale price equally. Also, Assets can be appraised with various methods, and debts can be determined at specific periods of time.