What is Community Property in California?

Fear of the financial hardships brought on by divorce is one of the factors that makes people stay in unhappy marriages until they become certain that divorce is the only option. Every couple that gets a divorce must divide their community property, and not all states have the same rules about how to divide a couple’s property in a divorce. California is a community property state, which means that each spouse gets an equal share of the net value of the couple’s community property in California. You do not need a lawyer to fight for your fair share of the community property in California. By law, you are already entitled to half of it. Therefore, unless you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement about some other issue, such as child custody, there is a good chance that you can finish your divorce without a lawyer. All you need is a registered legal document assistant to prepare your divorce documents.

By |2020-06-14T10:37:20-07:00June 14th, 2020|Divorce|0 Comments

Steps to Divide Retirement in Divorce

Most couples think their most valuable community property asset is their house. Surprisingly, however, the most valuable asset is often their retirement plan. Just as with other community assets, a divorcing couple must settle retirement division. In general, the law considers retirement benefits accrued during the marriage until the time of separation as community property. This article will explain the steps to divide retirement in divorce.

By |2019-07-06T18:56:13-07:00July 6th, 2019|Family Law|0 Comments

When Your Ex Spouse Won’t Sign QDRO

Divorced spouses often contact us with concerns that their ex-spouse won’t sign QDRO, a qualified domestic relations order. The courts use QDROs (pronounced "quaw-dro") to officially divide a former spouse's interest in a retirement plan or pension plan. If your spouse won't sign QDRO, then you will not be able to complete the process of dividing the retirement account . However, the spouse refusing to sign could find themselves held in contempt of court for refusing to do so. This article reviews options you may have if your ex-spouse is refusing to sign your QDRO.

By |2019-07-08T12:29:54-07:00July 4th, 2019|Family Law|2 Comments

Reasons to File a Joinder in a Divorce

In a pending case, either party can request that a third-party join the case, which is known as a joinder. In a divorce proceeding, California allows a party to file a joinder in divorce if a third-party is in possession of community property assets. Contributions made to retirement and pension plans during the marriage are community property assets in California and need to be divided like any other asset during the divorce proceeding. Keep in mind that most retirement plans do not require a joinder. However, some plans, such as California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) and California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and other city and county government plans, require that the plan to formally joined to the divorce proceeding before the plan can be divided. With this in mind, it may be wise to file a joinder in divorce even if the plan does not require it.

By |2019-05-12T08:21:26-07:00December 30th, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

How to Use a QDRO to Divide Retirement in Divorce

Contributions made to retirement and pension plans during a marriage are community property. During a divorce, couples divide retirement and pensions plans just like any other marital asset. The couple may split them any way they see fit, whether it be that one spouse completely buys the other one out of their share, or one spouse receives a percentage or fixed amount of the retirement payments. It is necessary to prepare a QDRO for each plan that is divided.

By |2019-05-12T08:22:48-07:00December 30th, 2018|Family Law|0 Comments

Thrift Savings Plan Retirement Division in Divorce

A Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) is a retirement system and plan for federal employees, military personnel and reservists. Congress established the plan in 1986. The federal TSP is a defined contribution plan. This means the amount of money a plan participant receives from the plan depends on how much he/she contributed throughout his/her working years. The [...]

By |2018-01-18T15:46:18-08:00April 29th, 2017|Family Law|2 Comments

Dividing Military Pensions in Divorce

A military pension is a form of deferred compensation. Military service members receive a lifelong pension after completing 20 years of service. Service members' military pensions are valuable assets in a divorce. A military pension is divisible in a divorce so long as the court has jurisdiction over the proceeding. Read on to learn more [...]

By |2018-01-18T15:46:32-08:00December 10th, 2016|Family Law|Comments Off on Dividing Military Pensions in Divorce

Joinder of Retirement Plan in Divorce

Most retirement plans or pensions can be divided in a California divorce. In particular, California courts split retirement plans and pensions between divorcing spouses similar to how other property is divided (50/50). In this case, retirement plans require an additional process, commonly referred to as the joinder of retirement plan, in order for a retirement [...]

By |2018-01-18T15:46:49-08:00June 23rd, 2016|Family Law|4 Comments

CALPERS Pension Retirement Division in Divorce

The California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS) provides lifetime monetary benefits to employees and their spouses. If you have filed for divorce, you may be wondering how you or your spouse’s CALPERS pension may be affected. Depending on your marital settlement agreement, you may receive up to half of your spouse's CALPERS retirement. Below is [...]

By |2018-01-18T15:46:53-08:00May 27th, 2016|Family Law|11 Comments