Dividing Community Property and Debts in Your California Divorce
You can spend a substantial amount of money to get your fair share of marital assets through litigation. But your divorce will be resolved sooner, with less expense and animosity, if you can reach an out-of-court agreement. With qualified legal counsel, the size of the marital estate need not be a barrier to a fair, reasonable, and timely settlement.
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The Mack Law Offices offers extensive experience in division of property under California law. Mr. Mack has handled the most complex cases involving significant assets and difficult business valuations, working to move the process along.
Barry Mack takes a settlement-first approach, representing clients in traditional negotiation, with litigation as a last resort. Retired from his post as a Superior Court commissioner, he is also available as a neutral, bypassing the clogged courts to achieve property settlements in a private trial, private arbitration, or mediation.
Community Property vs. Separate Property
The rule is simple but its application is not. California law requires a 50-50 split of all assets and debt acquired during the marriage. The sticking point is determining what is community property and what is separate property. Those people who are determined not to get a penny less than their 50 percent (or who intend to get more than their fair share) can spend years in litigation over the characterization and valuation of assets.
Mr. Mack works diligently to identify community property (including separate assets commingled during the marriage) and to assemble a list of assets and their values. He then encourages parties to decide which assets they most desire and which assets they are willing to forfeit as an offset.
For example, equity in the house might be traded for retirement investments, taking into account taxes and depreciation. If the resulting value of the chosen assets is unequal, the property settlement can simply include a payment to equal the value to the other spouse (cash or proceeds of liquidation). Mr. Mack uses reliable experts for accurate, honest appraisals to assist in concluding your case.
Fair, Efficient Property Settlements
In his more than 35 years of practice as an attorney and as a commissioner, Mr. Mack has overseen the valuation of virtually every type of community and separate asset.