California is a community property state, meaning that, during your divorce, the judge will split all assets and income equally between you and your spouse, regardless of who purchased an asset or earned the income. Like personal property, real estate, income and other assets, the judge who presides over your case will split all retirement accounts fairly between you and your spouse. Splitting retirement accounts can be a complex and drawn-out process, as each different type of retirement account has unique tax requirements. A qualified domestic relations order can help simplify the process and ensure that the judge distributes the funds in yours and your spouse's retirement accounts correctly.
If you and your spouse are a high-asset couple headed for a California divorce, your property settlement agreement may become one of your biggest bones of contention. At the very least, you will need to determine the value of your various marital assets before you can establish the value of each spouse’s 50 percent ownership interest as required by California’s community property laws.
As you probably know, California is a community property state. This means that if and when you and your spouse divorce, each of you is entitled to 50 percent of your marital assets. How you go about dividing up those assets, however, and the manner in which you do it, could have negative tax consequences for one or both of you.
If you face an impending California divorce, you may wish to familiarize yourself with the acceptance of benefits doctrine. Why? Because it could impact if and to what extent you may be able to modify your court-approved property settlement agreement after your divorce.
When you divorce in California, the pensions that you and your spouse own can be more valuable than all the other assets you acquired during your marriage. As Reuters reports, dividing up these retirement accounts is tricky at best. If you fail to do it properly, you and/or your spouse could face thousands of dollars in taxes and penalties.
A number of people in California and throughout the United States end their marriage by filing for divorce. During the process, they are forced to separate their marital items, or the property and finances they accumulated during the time they were married. When considering this marital or community property, most people think of the family vehicles, homes, furniture and the money in the savings account. There are, however, many other marital items that divorcing couples may not think of. Some of the property and assets that often get overlooked could total a considerable amount of money.
At the Law Office of Lily L. Huang in California, we sympathize with you if you strongly suspect that your spouse is attempting to hide marital assets from you so that (s)he will obtain a better property settlement than (s)he would if your family’s true financial situation were known. While suspicious spouses have struggled for years to discover and document hidden assets, today’s technology makes it even more difficult to do so. Are you aware of Bitcoin?
Whether young and in love or widowed and remarrying, most California couples with the starry-eyed gaze of fresh romance never dream of it ending. Sometimes they decide to take on another big risk, and the life partners become business partners, building their hopes on big dreams.
At the Law Office of Lily L. Huang in California, we know how difficult it is for you when your marriage breaks up. You and your spouse may have widely differing opinions regarding child custody and support issues, spousal support issues, and property settlement issues. Often our clients say they wish they had signed a prenuptial agreement before their marriage because it likely would have made their property division considerably easier and less contentious than it is today.
Dividing property may sound easy: "I'll take the house. He can keep the cars." When a family has shared life in and through that property, though, deciding who gets to keep what can be tricky. California families would do well to remember assets are often not simply property; instead, they include the meaning attached to that teapot or framed portrait.