Property Division

Property Division

Experienced Representation Throughout the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys


At the Law Offices of Charrow & Slee, in Northridge, we have over 29 years of experience representing clients throughout Los Angeles County and the surrounding communities in the Santa Clarita Valley. Because we understand the stress and anxiety that can accompany a property settlement dispute, we place a high priority on personal service and attention, so that you have the confidence that you are being heard and that your legal concerns are being addressed. Contact our offices online to schedule a confidential consultation.

Our Property Division Practice

Dividing assets and debts in divorce proceedings can be complicated. As most people know, California is a community property state. As such, property that is purchased in marriage is presumed to be subject to equal division. However, there are several scenarios that arise in property division, such as:

  • What happens when the property is purchased by one of the parties prior to the marriage, but the mortgage and property taxes are paid during the marriage? Does this change the nature of the asset (known as a transmutation) from a separate to a community asset? No. But there is an interest, and the amount is determined by a complicated formula.
  • What happens when husband and wife purchase their dream home but the $50,000 deposit is from the wife’s separate inheritance? After the home is sold and the net proceeds are divided, the wife is entitled to the first $50,000 off the top as her separate property contribution.
  • What if husband and wife build a $70,000 pool with all funds coming from the husband’s recently deceased uncle? Will the husband get credit for this contribution to the community asset? Typically, yes. It is a capital improvement and the contributing party is entitled to its off-the-top value after any otherwise equal division.
  • What if a spouse is injured in a motorcycle accident and sustains severe injuries, obtaining a substantial recovery for broken limbs, pain, and suffering? Is this compensation subject to equal division? Generally, the answer is no. While the recovery is a considered a community asset, it is generally assigned to the injured spouse. However, the community may be entitled to credit or reimbursement for lost wages if the spouse was out of work during recovery.
  • Will credit card debt in one spouse’s name be assigned to that spouse? Probably not. If the debt is incurred during the marriage, it is presumed to be a community debt.
  • What if two unmarried persons, having purchased a home together, have a falling out and only one of the two wants to sell? Is there a remedy for the individual that wants to sell? Yes. In a partition action, the court can order the sale with the net proceeds divided equally. Or, by agreement, one party can buy out the other party’s interest at fair market value.

These are a few of the many issues that present themselves in a typical divorce case (and most certainly a domestic partnership case). Our lawyers will help you navigate California’s community property laws. To schedule a confidential consultation with experienced property division attorneys in the Santa Clarita Valley, contact us online or call 818-349-1305.