One of the most challenging issues that couples face during the divorce process is how to divide their assets. Most couples wonder if their property will be evenly divided or if there is another option to divide the property.

Dividing assets, assigning child custody, and establishing support arrangements may be complex and complicated without the help of a child and spousal support attorney in Los Angeles, if you live in Southern California. 

The bottom line question most men ask is, “What is a wife entitled to in a divorce settlement?”

Divorce Property Division: What Property Rights Do Wives Have?

The divorcing couples must determine how to share their assets and debts before filing for divorce. The court can help the couple figure out how to do the sharing. Divorcing couples in California must share their marital assets and debts equally under its community property rules. (California Family Code Section 2581)

When it comes to things like dividing up the family home in the event of a divorce, some couples can agree.  With the aid of a property division lawyer, a judge or arbitrator will have to rule on the case if the couple cannot agree on a solution via negotiation.

In any case, there are three critical phases to the property partition procedure.

  1. Figure out if the assets (or liabilities) are joint or separate.
  2. Agree upon the value of the common property.
  3. Determine the division of the property.

Property Division Attorneys Can Explain the Rules of Property Division

Divorcing couples in California may split assets by allocating specified assets to each spouse, enabling one spouse to “buy out” the other’s part of an asset, or selling assets and sharing the profits. The couple might also agree to keep their assets in one place even after the divorce is finalized.

Even though keeping a family home until the kids are out of school isn’t something most people want to do since it necessitates a continual financial tie, some couples do it nevertheless. Others may hold on to their investment property, hoping its value will rise.

All debts incurred during the marriage, including mortgages, vehicle loans, and credit card obligations, must be assigned to one of the spouses. Creditors are not bound by a divorce or separation agreement, so they may pursue a communal debt from either spouse, which is something to consider when distributing debts.

A lien can encumber one spouse’s separate property to pay off a debt owed to the other spouse. Instead, if you’re selling the family home or one spouse is buying the other out, there’s typically a refinancing of the house loan that gives you the option to pay off all of your marital debt as you’re finalizing your divorce.

property rights attorney

What Are the Two Divisions of Property in California?

For people going through a divorce for the first time, property split regulations might be difficult to understand. Different laws govern the partition of property in each state. A variety of methods exist for distributing property under equitable distribution, while others adhere to community property. 

You’ll find phrases like “separate and community property” on numerous court forms. This information is critical because a judge will use it to determine how your property will be divided. It’s common for couples to maintain separate properties and divide their joint property.

Community Property

The property you possess or owe jointly as a couple throughout your union is referred to as “community property” or “marital assets.” Earnings made during the marriage are the marital property (marital earnings). This property also includes assets acquired throughout the marriage using marital income.

There’s a clear separation between the two when it comes to marital property. There is a 50/50 division of the couple’s property. As long as the property was obtained during a marriage, the woman is entitled to a half share.

Would the wife be entitled to half of the husband’s business?

The wife may be entitled to half of the company’s value after a divorce in California since it is considered community property. It’s possible that the wife won’t be entitled to the company if it was started before the marriage or is protected by a prenuptial agreement.

On the other hand, separate property is often obtained before marriage and divided 50/50 in the event of divorce.

Is a wife entitled to the husband’s pension after the divorce?

Pensions are treated as community property in California, which means that if a couple gets divorced, the pensions are shared 50/50. A spouse can receive half of their spouse’s pension contributions made during their marriage.

Separate Property

On the other hand, separate property is split equally; the spouse who obtained the marital property retains ownership of it even after the divorce. These properties include individual bank accounts, inheritances held separately, and gifts from each other (between spouses).

If the separate property is not securely secured, a spouse may argue that it is marital property. Get in contact with a property division lawyer if you want to preserve your assets after a divorce.

It doesn’t matter who earned it or whose name appears on the deed to the property; both spouses have equal ownership. Marital assets and debts are shared 50/50 between a married couple in California unless they agree on a different arrangement.

How To Determine the Value of the Property?

Each piece of property has a monetary value determined by the divorcing couple or the court if they cannot agree. In addition to assessing the value of the real estate, an appraiser may assist a couple in evaluating the value of valuables like antique collections and paintings.

Retirement assets may be challenging to assess and may need the advice of an actuary or other financial expert. Either you and your spouse will agree on how to divide the money after assigning a value to your property, or the court will do it for you.

What Is the Importance of The Date of Separation?

You’ll need to know when you and your ex-spouse split up. Understanding what is yours alone and shared property depends on when you were married and when you got divorced. The date of your wedding is usually straightforward. Distancing oneself might be difficult.

If you’re one of those people who have decided to divorce, today is the day you’ll go through with it. The day they move out is the official separation date for some individuals. From that point on, your income and any loans you or your spouse took out were generally no longer considered joint property.

Is It Necessary to Split Assets 50/50?

Community property rules mandate an equal distribution of assets, but this does not compel an equal distribution. In some instances, the 50/50 rule may be circumvented.

Couples may not have to divide their property equally. Both parties agree on an asset division strategy. Neither party ends up broken in a divorce, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that keeps some assets separate in case of divorce. It’s often wise to collaborate with a prenuptial agreement lawyer in Los Angeles to understand all the local legal right associated with the document.

Using community property principles to divide property might lead to sentiments of injustice. One person can feel entitled to more in a divorce if they bring in more money for the family. The skills and knowledge needed to earn a living may not be necessary for a spouse who stays home to care for the family. Alimony payments may be raised in situations like these.

Couples may attempt to determine on their own how they wish to divide their marital property since splitting assets and property according to community property rules may appear unjust. Ultimately, the court will apply community property rules if the parties cannot reach an agreement on how to split their assets.

Are Wives Entitled to Spousal Support in California Divorces?

Even though California does not have a fixed formula for determining spousal support, some considerations must be made. If a couple has been together for a long time, the lower-earning spouse may be eligible for spousal assistance. 

When assessing spousal support, a court will consider the duration of your marriage, your own and your spouse’s earnings, and the couple’s assets. For example, a woman who earns less than her husband and has been married for more than ten years is more likely to get spousal assistance. In most California cases, spousal support conditions are agreed upon in collaborative mediation with the help of a spousal support attorney in Los Angeles and then submitted to a court for approval. A court will utilize the following elements to decide alimony if the couples cannot agree:

  • The age of each spouse
  • The duration of the marriage
  • The quality of life before divorce
  • Assets and liabilities of a married couple
  • Custody agreements are an essential part of the process.
  • The physical, emotional, and economic well-being of each partner
  • The capacity of the lower-earning spouse to become financially self-sufficient
  • All dependents, including the lesser-earning spouse, of the higher-earning spouse.

These considerations must be taken into account while assessing alimony in California. The goal of spousal support payments is to maintain a spouse’s standard of living before the divorce. A spousal support lawyer is essential if you’re looking for spousal support. Spousal support lawyers for women can assist wives in California divorces and collect spousal support.

If you’re a woman wondering how much you’re entitled to as a wife in alimony or property distribution, or if you’re a man wondering how much you’re expected to release for your wife from your assets, the family and divorce lawyers at the Law Offices of Leon F. Bennett can help.

It’s to your best advantage to contact us so that we can assist in guiding you toward a wise choice to safeguard your rights.


About Family Law Divorce Attorney, Leon F. Bennett, Esq.

The Law Offices of Leon F. Bennett and Bennett Law Firm provide efficient and effective Family Law services throughout Southern California for over 35 years that satisfy you and your family’s goals. Leon F. Bennett, Esq. is an expert Woodland Hills divorce attorney  who will get the desired results for you and your family.

Contact us today to request a consultation.