As a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, one of the most common concerns my clients have is which assets they will keep following the marriage. It’s completely understandable. Often, we have so many emotional connections and memories associated with our property that it’s unimaginable to part with it. It’s also a tremendous investment of time and money to rebuild the things it took us a lifetime to collect.
Unfortunately, however, property division is a part of the dissolution of marriage. Some people are able to handle it without the involvement of a Los Angeles divorce lawyer, while others prefer the legal assurance and guidance that an attorney can provide. In many cases, a lawyer can smooth the way for negotiation and mediation, leading to voluntary settlement. This is typically my goal.
In the property division process, we decide what is owned separately from the marriage and what is community property (assets owned by both parties). Then, we determine its value.
Property Division is a very systematic procedure:
- We inventory and describe each asset and track which of it is legitimate community property.
- We establish when the marriage actually ended. The date of separation may actually have an impact on the case.
- Since the value of an asset can change over time, so we look at the date on which the property has been assessed.
When we are talking about smaller items like collections or antiques, these assets may mean less in the grand scheme of things. However, when you consider the cost of a home or vehicles, distributing assets in the right way can impact your life for years to come.
My approach as a Los Angeles divorce lawyer is to emphasize negotiation and mediation. It’s all too easy for property discussions to turn heated. Once those emotions and memories become part of the process, it makes separating assets much more difficult, time intensive, and costly. By helping clients through the process, we are able to avoid the expense and risk of a courtroom trial.