Property Division

San Francisco Property Division Attorneys

Marital Property & Debt Resolution in San Francisco County, Alameda County, San Mateo County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, & Santa Clara County 

Dividing marital property and debt can be an issue that can involve a simple split of household belongings or a marital estate that consists of multiple investment properties, overseas accounts, businesses and business interests, retirement plans, and stock options and portfolios. Without a valid prenuptial or post-marital agreement in effect, these assets and liabilities will be subject to California’s community property rule. However, disputes can arise over hidden assets, the valuation of assets, and whether specific assets are even considered to be “community” property or not.

At Nachlis | Cohade | Lopez-Whitaker, LLP, we can provide the assistance you need in resolving this important issue. We know that how it is resolved can dramatically impact your financial future. We commonly represent individuals in cases of high-conflict and high-asset property division. With a Certified Family Law Specialist on board, our firm has the advantage of expert knowledge and insight into this complex issue. We also rely on a trusted team of outside experts, such as CPAs, forensic accountants, business valuation professionals, appraisers, and tax consultants who can ensure you are thoroughly advised. 

Marital Property Division in California

As a community property state, California views all the property and assets you and your spouse acquire during your marriage as being owned equally. This means that these assets will be divided and distributed evenly in a divorce. “Separate” property is any property titled to you only that was acquired prior to your marriage or given only to you during your marriage as an inheritance or gift. It is also property that you secure after your separation in preparation for a divorce. As long as your separate property is not commingled into the marital estate during your marriage, it is not subject to the community property rule. California has also established “quasi-community” property that is owned or was acquired prior to locating to California; this property is generally regarded as community property. 

To avoid a dispute over dividing marital property and debt, you and your spouse can negotiate your own settlement outside of court. This can then be drafted into a written settlement that can be submitted to the court for approval. If the court decides it is fair, the judge can finalize it by signing it and making it part of your divorce settlement.

In high-asset cases where disputes can arise, you may have complex issues, such as:

  • Hidden assets
  • Pensions and retirement accounts
  • Family-owned businesses or business interests requiring valuation
  • Professional practices requiring valuation
  • Overseas assets requiring appraisal or valuation
  • Deferred compensation
  • Stock portfolios and stock options
  • Expensive art requiring appraisal/valuation
  • Estate planning issues, such as property or assets owned through trusts
  • Tax considerations
  • Commercial or multi-family real estate

These issues will require diligent handling, often with the help of other professionals, to bring about a fair and just outcome, either through negotiation or at trial. Whether you need assistance with a relatively simple or extremely complicated division of property and debt, our team is here to protect your financial rights while using all available legal methods to help you find an optimum result. 

Reach out to a San Francisco property division attorney at Nachlis | Cohade | Lopez-Whitaker, LLP for a confidential case evaluation at (415) 855-9344 or by submitting your contact details online.