Spousal Support and Property Division

North County San Diego Divorce Lawyer

aj property division 2Two of the most important issues in a North County San Diego divorce are property division and spousal support.  In California, the assets and debts accumulated by a couple during marriage are considered to be “community property”.  Community property is considered to be owned equally by the partners, and is usually divided on a 50%/50% basis.

Separate Property

If one of the parties owned real property or held other significant wealth or assets, or received a “gift” or an “inheritance” during the course of the marriage this may be considered “separate property.” If these assets are kept separately from community property, then all property or assets acquired with separate property or exchanged for it during the course of the marriage may continue to be separate property.  The comingling of these assets with marital accounts or assets, or the use of marital accounts for maintenance, repair or upgrading will affect the status of these assets as “separate” and may move them back into “community property.”

There are also issues related to the appreciation of the assets during the course of the marriage, and whether or not the accumulated balance is community or separate property. Discerning the difference between community property and separate property can be quite legally complex.  This is why it is important to work with an experienced family law attorney who will review the details associated with all community and separate property, and work to establish the appropriate division of all assets and debts according to California law.

Spousal Support or Alimony

AJ Child SupportThe payment of spousal support, also commonly referred to as “alimony”, is usually based upon several factors including:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The difference in the income of each party
  • The lifestyle the couple has established
  • The Efforts of one party to remain at home and take care of children to support the other spouse

Spousal support is fairly flexible under California law, and can be negotiated separately by the parties or established by a Judge or Magistrate. The length of the marriage will have a substantial impact on the amount of support to be paid, as well as the duration of the payments.  If the couple was married for less than 10 years, San Diego Judges usually order support to last for a period that is equivalent to approximately half of the duration of the marriage.  When the marriage lasted 10 years or longer, the Judge will not usually set a date for spousal support to end.  The separation agreement will usually provide the Court with jurisdiction over this issue following the divorce, and either party may request post decree modifications based upon changes to the “Status Quo.”

Spousal Support does not have to last forever. Often, the Judge requires the party receiving spousal support to work toward financial independence, and establishes a timeframe for the recipient to pursue education, job skill training or other efforts to become self-sustaining within a given period of time.

Contact an Experienced Spousal Support and Property Division Attorney

The issues of spousal support and property division can become quite legally complex, and resolution of these issues is often clouded by emotion and fear. Our clients appreciate Andrew Johnson’s personal approach to these challenges, and the legal and financial expertise he brings to each case.  If you have questions about issues concerning the division of property, assets and debts or the determination of spousal support we invite you contact us, or call (760) 639-0187 to schedule an appointment with a California Certified Family Law Specialist.