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Property Division Family Lawyers

At Olsen & Olsen Attorneys at Law in Torrance, we specialize in handling the complexities of property division to ensure that your hard-earned assets are safeguarded and your financial interests are protected. 

Property Division and Property-Related Issues

In California, the division of marital property during a divorce is governed by community property laws. California is a community property state, which means that property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be the property of both spouses and is subject to equal division. Property issues can be complex in a divorce and having an experienced litigator is essential.

Community vs Separate Property

Any assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered community property and are subject to division. This includes income, real estate, vehicles, bank accounts, and other assets.

Assets owned individually before the marriage, acquired by gift or inheritance, or defined as separate by a valid agreement (such as a prenuptial agreement) may be treated as separate property and may not be subject to equal division.

Please note: how separate property is used during a marriage can result in the separate property becoming community property. 

How is Community Property Divided in California?

The goal in California is to achieve an equal and fair division of community property between spouses. Each spouse is entitled to one-half of the community property.

While the default is equal division, the court may consider factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's financial contributions, the standard of living during the marriage, and each spouse's needs and earning capacity.

Valuation of Community Property

To determine what constitutes an equal division of the marital property, properly evaluating the values of the community property is essential.​

The value of assets, such as real estate, businesses, investments, and personal property, may need to be determined to facilitate an equitable division. Our legal and financial forensic experts will thoroughly examine your case to ensure a fair outcome for you and your family.

Control and Sale of Community Property During Divorce

One common issue arising in divorces is the sale of community property and who has the right to control community property until the divorce is finalized.

In all divorce cases, Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders, or ATRO's, are put in place. The purpose of ATROs is to prevent either spouse from taking certain actions that could negatively impact the other party or the marital estate during the divorce process. ATROs typically restrain both spouses from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or disposing of any property, whether community or separate, without the written consent of the other party or a court order. Therefore during the divorce process, any sale or transfer of community property must be done with the court's approval to avoid violating court orders.

Courts can order the immediate sale of a community property if it is at risk of being lost. Additionally, parties can agree to sell the community property.

Property Control and Reimbursements

Oftentimes one spouse continues to live in a family home during the divorce. That spouse is often responsible for paying for upkeeping and maintaining the property. This often includes paying the mortgage and other expenses.

Spouses can ask for reimbursements against another spouse for their sole use of community property. For more on Reimbursements, please contact our office with the form below


We specialize in a wide range of Family Law matters. Click the boxes for more information on each topic. Don't see what you're looking for? Give us a call or fill out the form below.



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