Complex Division of Property
Property Division is a Significant Part of the Divorce Process

Property Division
If you are considering a divorce in San Diego, property division will be a big part of the process. In California, all property acquired during the marriage is considered “community property” and should be divided equally between both parties. You are likely coming out of a long relationship, where you and your spouse have accumulated a lot of assets – such as your marital house, vehicles, and potentially other high-value property – and possibly some debt as well. This all factors into the property division equation.

Assessing, evaluating and classifying all the property and liabilities acquired during the marriage can be very complicated. Generally speaking, marital assets are characterized as either community property – an asset acquired during the marriage, separate property – property acquired after the date of separation or prior to the date of marriage, or hybrid property – property that one party may have invested money acquired before the marriage in but that belongs to both spouses and has appreciation value.

Generally when it comes to property division, if you and your spouse lived together prior to your marriage, even for a very long period of time, the court will not take those years into account when assessing the assets and property you acquired as a couple. There could be another lawsuit which could account for this period of time. Even though California law calls for the equitable division of property, that does not mean that all assets need to be liquidated, it just means that both parties should receive assets of the same value from the community property estate.

Complex Property Division
Complex Property Division issues arise when community property involves a business, and/or stocks and bonds, or if there is a dispute regarding community property classification. You are entitled to retain assets you acquired before marriage or inherited during your marriage and you are also entitled to a portion of assets gained during the marriage.

Family-owned businesses, stocks and bonds complicate the division of property. If stocks and bonds come from the employer of one spouse, stocks and stock options can be considered income that should be used to determine spousal and child support payments.

Schaffer Family Law Group’s experience in San Diego complex property division matters, and in particular, Sarah Schaffer’s understanding of the nuances of tax law, make our family law attorneys particularly adept at working with high-net-worth clients when it comes to division of property.

In addition, our understanding of the military and work with dozens of military families also gives us particular insight into navigating the division of military retired pay for our clients.

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Sarah T. Schaffer Recognized in San Diego Discovery Magazine With over 220,000 attorneys in California, Schaffer is one of the few, numbering 178 within San Diego, to hold the distinction of Certified Family Law Specialist.

San Diego Magazine Women of the Year Awards Colonel Sarah T. Schaffer, USMC – Camp Pendleton recognized for her Military Service as JAG Officer.

Top 50 Influential Leaders in San Diego Sarah T. Schaffer is active in the San Diego County and North County bar associations and supports the programs of Kids’ Turn San Diego, a nonprofit that helps children through family separations, and Casa Cornelia Law Center, which provides pro bono legal services to victims of human and civil rights violations.

Dividing a Business - San Diego Discover Magazine Not all businesses have marital value, especially smaller businesses whose primary value is from the efforts of one spouse.

Sarah Schaffer on the cover of Discover Magazine

Family law matters are never simple By your side every step of the way

Certified Family Law Specialist CFLS Sarah Schaffer, Wayne Rice and Leslie Ryland have been certified by the State Bar of California as “Certified Family Law Specialists,” a distinction earned by family law attorneys who have “gone beyond the standard licensing requirements.” Every attorney at Schaffer Family Law Group has either earned their CFLS Certification, or is actively working towards that professional goal as a requirement of the firm and our commitment to providing our clients the most skilled and proficient attorneys in San Diego County.

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What You Should Know

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Professionals, Business Owners & Divorce Solving problems with the division of marital assets. The need for privacy and not leaving written records of your 'dirty laundry' for the world to see in the permanent public record and more...

Military Divorce Sarah serves as a colonel in the Marine Corps Reserve. Military families find Sarah’s understanding of the military and issues servicemembers face enable her to provide superior counsel.

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