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What makes property separate during a divorce?

In marriages, it is not uncommon for spouses to share what they earn and make purchases together. California couples may benefit from pooling their financial resources so they can have stronger spending power and more flexibility when it comes to acquiring what they need. Sharing during marriage is normal, but when a relationship is subject to a divorce, it can be tough to decide which partner should take which items of property.

California follows community property principles when dividing and distributing marital property. However, not all property is classified as marital. When a person is able to demonstrate that particular items of real, personal, and financial property are exclusively theirs, they may be able to leave their marriages with those assets intact.

Separate property constitutes property that is owned by only one person. Often, separate property is property that a person owned prior to getting married. An individual may have investments, a home, or other items of value that they retain during their marriage without converting them to marital property. Separate property can also include gifts and inheritances that a person receives during their marriage that were not also given to their spouse.

The nature of property as either marital or separate can be challenged by individuals when they begin to divide their assets pursuant to their divorce. However, strong arguments can be made to support the positions of those who wish to regain their separate property once their marriage is over. Legal counsel from family law attorneys can help those who are concerned about their property division negotiations.

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Joseph R. Zoucha, Attorney & Counselor at Law
520 Warren Street
Redwood City, CA 94063

Phone: 650-381-9591
Fax: 650-261-9650
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