A California divorce can be complicated even when the parties act in good faith and do their best to be honest and open with each other. The process can become even more difficult, though, when one or both of the parties attempts to engage in deceptive or deceiving tactics. These dishonest practices sometimes happen during the identification and division of marital property.
This informational post will introduce readers to the property division process in California, and how it can be obfuscated by individuals who try to hide money and assets from their soon-to-be ex-spouses. Readers should be aware that no legal advice is offered in this post. Whenever questions or concerns about the divorce process arise, individuals should seek independent and competent counsel from knowledgeable California divorce and family law attorneys.
How is property divided in California?
California is a community property state. That means that marital property, or property that is shared between spouses, is divided equally when married people go through divorce. To determine if property is marital, it must be evaluated to also check to see if it could be separate property.
Separate property is property that is only owned by one individual. Whether through an inheritance, a gift, or a prior purchase, a married person can own property separate and apart from their spouse. However, if separate property is used for marital purposes, it may be converted to marital property and be subject to Community property divisions upon divorce.
What are hidden assets?
Hidden assets are marital assets that should be shared between the parties upon a divorce, but that one party attempts to conceal during the property division process. A party going through a divorce may attempt to hide an asset for their own gain, but this is wrongful if the asset or item of property is truly marital. When suspicions of hidden assets come up during a divorce, high asset divorce attorneys can retain forensic accountants to help sort out financial and property matters during the division process.
Finding the right representation for a party’s divorce needs
Not all divorces will have to deal with allegations of hidden assets. However, when a couple shares significant property and assets, the opportunity for concealment may occur. Not all California lawyers are prepared to manage the detailed and complex issues that can arise during high asset divorces. It is therefore important for individuals with property and financial concerns to work with representatives who understand the laws that cover these areas of divorce. High asset divorce attorneys can provide valuable services to their clients that may help them make important decisions about the ends of their marriages.