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  • Writer's pictureJames Chau

Tips on Keeping Separate Property in a Divorce

I read an interesting article about trends in separate finances among married couples. Protecting your assets in divorce is a major issue in any dissolution proceeding. The article goes on to note that a common misconception about couples seeking divorce is separate accounts are not community property. If you live in a community property state like California, anything acquired during the marriage presumptively belongs to the community.

There are some tips the article provides for helping to keep things separate.

The article mentions that prior to marriage, getting a prenuptial agreement can not only relieve some of the tension in a dissolution proceeding, but can help to-be spouses discuss important financial issues in a meaningful way before entering marriage. Dismissing the notion that a prenuptial agreement is a sign of low-confidence in a marriage, and embracing the attitude that it helps couples plan financially for their future is a good way to build a foundation on which a marriage can navigate the often awkward financial issues that accompany a marriage.

Another important point raised by the article keeping good records of all assets you bring to the marriage – for example bank accounts, investment accounts, real property records – to serve as a snapshot. These records will help you “trace” separate assets during a divorce. Even if you have not kept these records, doing your best to gather them when seeking a divorce will be something your attorney will request of you.

An often-misunderstood issue in divorce is money that is inherited during marriage. At least in California, inheritances or gifts that are made to an individual are considered separate property. Good practice is to keep any money inherited or financial gift received in a separate account in the name of the person who receives it. A typical example of a grey-area issue arises when family gifts money to one person in a marriage, and that person deposits the money into a community account. This comingling of funds creates confusion as to the nature of the inherited separate property, so keeping any gift that is given to an individual separate from community funds is important.

Keeping separate accounts does not guarantee a separate asset; however, doing so can help make the process of divorce easier, and help protect your best interests. The laws are nuanced about separate and community property in California. Knowing your options and rights is important in any divorce proceeding

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyer office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. San Jose unbundled limited scope family lawyer.

We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Hayward, Union City

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