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What Information is Useful in a Ramona Property Settlement and Division in San Diego?

As per the California Family Law Code, community property must be equally divided amongst couples who are undergoing a divorce or legal separation in San Diego Superior Courts but there are some limited exceptions. It is very important to understand these exceptions if they are applicable to your divorce or legal separation case in San Diego. Community property, of course, refers to all those pieces of assets that had been acquired during the tenure of the marriage through any partner’s efforts and it does not matter whose name the property is in. For example, a bank account which was opened from date of marriage to date of separation at the San Diego County Credit Union would be presumptively community property even if in one spouse’s name alone.

Making a List

But easier said than done. Couples and attorneys alike will readily agree that the longer a marriage lasts, the more difficult it may be to distinguish community property and separate property. A Ramona property settlements and division attorney is then needed to prepare the list of these various pieces of property, which to compound matters may also include real and intangible assets.

One Item at a Time

However, an equal division of community property actually means that each partner receives assets and pieces of property that amount to an equal value. This means that a Ramona property settlements and division attorney has to also carry out the complex task of evaluating each piece of property so that a division of assets can be enforced. Sometimes, an attorney welcomes the help of professional accountants and evaluators to do this job. It is also very important to consider whether the assets are taxable, non taxable, would incur a penalty if disbursed now or any other type of early withdrawal consequences. For example, under the current law in San Diego, if a homeowner sells their home they may be entitled {if they meet the requirements} to not pay tax on up to $250,000 of the gain. A spouse may have a 401K which has $250,000 and the equity in the home may be $250,000. This would be akin to trading “apples to oranges” since one would have tax consequences and the other would not.

The complexities of a property settlements and division case do not end here. According to the laws in San Diego, there must also be division of business property, real estate, stock options, and retirement savings amongst separating couples.

In East County, a property settlements and division attorney has to find out the worth of a small business, the net increase in the value of the business after the marriage, and whether this increase was the result of the active or passive actions of one spouse. An attorney has to also ascertain if the increase in value is community property or separate property. Experienced attorneys engage the services of a business valuation expert to rightfully concoct the figures and the ensuing conclusions. If there is a prenuptial agreement, this has to be considered as well.

Foreclosure Realities

Division of real estate holdings present similar problems especially when considering partially separate properties, like the house the down payment for which had been made from a loan tendered by the parents of either partner or the apartment that one partner owned before marriage or bought from savings garnered from his/her days before the marriage. Houses that are about to receive a foreclosure filing also present complexities in the settlement and division case. It is noteworthy in this context that Ramona has foreclosures of houses and condominiums of spouses. So, it is easy to understand the challenges confronting a Ramona property settlements and division attorney.

Stock options and retirement savings such as pensions, IRAs, and 401-k plans are real assets that too have to be divided equally amongst separating couples. An attorney has to tackle complexities like when the stock options are based on future employment and/or job performance prospects or when a company is a startup with an uncertain future.

The Services of Doppelt and Forney, APLC

It thus goes without saying that a property settlements and division case needs to be handled by an experienced attorney who not only has the legal expertise but also a keen analytical mind to be able to thread the diverse pieces of complex financial information. The Ramona property settlements and division attorneys at Doppelt and Forney, APLC, have been representing clients in such cases for their many clients in San Diego since 1988. They are located in Rancho Bernardo, conveniently off the I-15 and only 20 miles away from Ramona—they have been operating from this office since 1998

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