Why Do I Need a Fair Oaks Property Division Lawyer?
Divorcing couples commonly cite property division as one of the most stressful aspects of divorce. Still, it is technically possible to navigate property division and divorce proceedings without legal representation. However, if you choose this option, you put yourself at a tremendous disadvantage—especially if your spouse has hired an attorney of their own. You could make unintentional procedural errors in the Fair Oaks family court system that interfere with your case. You may also overlook important aspects of your financial disclosure and reach an imbalanced property division result. Ultimately, hiring an experienced Fair Oaks property division attorney to represent you helps you avoid these issues and streamlines the divorce process.
The team at McCunn Law can assist you with the financial disclosure process, gather evidence that you need to support your legal position in divorce proceedings, and even coordinate expert witness testimony on your behalf if necessary. We believe in taking a client-focused approach to legal counsel, so we will get to know you and your situation at the outset of your case and help you predict what you can expect from the proceedings ahead of you.
California’s Community Property Law
California is one of nine states in the US that uphold community property statutes. Community property law requires all marital property to be divided equally in divorce, no matter the underlying cause. Many California residents consider the community property law to be overbearing or unfair in some cases. However, when it comes to your own divorce case, it is essential to understand how California’s community property law will apply and what you can do to ensure a more positive outcome in your case.
Community property laws state that divorcing spouses retain their separate property and divide their marital property. “Separate” property includes anything a spouse owned before marriage, gifts they received during the marriage, and inheritance from parents and other blood relatives. In some cases, separate property will “transmute” to marital property. For example, if you owned a home before marriage but added your spouse to the mortgage, this would likely constitute transmutation to marital property for the purposes of property division.
“Marital” or “community” property includes all assets and property a couple gained while married. This typically includes income earned by both spouses, jointly held bank accounts, and retirement accounts that appreciated in value during the marriage.
Benefits of Mediation for Property Division in California Divorce
When you litigate your divorce in the Fair Oaks, CA family court, the judge overseeing your case has the final say in every aspect of your divorce, including property division. Most judges will enforce California’s community property statute to the letter, resulting in property division determinations that spouses may deem unfair or ill-suited to their unique situation. It is possible to avoid this type of situation if you and your spouse are willing to consider alternative dispute resolution.
Mediation is the most popular means of engaging in alternative dispute resolution because it effectively allows a divorcing couple to negotiate the terms of their divorce in private. In many cases, spouses can reach a more mutually agreeable result than they could through divorce litigation. The mediation process involves both spouses and their respective attorneys meeting with a neutral mediator to negotiate their divorce terms. Unlike courtroom proceedings that become public record, mediation is entirely confidential and allows a divorcing couple to have more control over the outcome of their divorce.
If you are worried about a judge forcing you and your spouse to liquidate assets and sell property to split the proceeds, mediation could provide an opportunity for the two of you to negotiate a more personalized divorce settlement. Your Fair Oaks property division lawyer will help you prepare for your mediation sessions and provide valuable guidance through each stage of the process. In most situations, the combination of legal guidance and mediation can help you achieve a more personalized result to your property division determination than what a judge could offer.