What is Community Property in California? Written By Sandra McCarthy Founder, A People’s Choice Fact Checked 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. 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Compared to using an attorney for complete paperwork, this service is only a fraction of the cost, more responsive, and better suited to quickly completing complicated court forms. “ Linda F. “I recently required the help of A People’s Choice, Inc. and found them to be entirely professional. Everything was done in short order yet all was explained to my satisfaction. They were friendly and courteous. I am happy and impressed.” C. Zyobel “The service provided by A People’s Choice was very professional and comprehensive. We have used A People’s Choice on a previous occasion and were completely satisfied. We would highly recommend A People’s Choice to anyone!“ R. Betancourt “Want to personally thank the staff at A People’s Choice for making my divorce process so simple and painless. From my 1st contact in the office, they were was warm and friendly and took the time to explain each step in a very simple and quick manner. Filing for a divorce can be a difficult and painful process and the staff was extremely professional and clear in all guidance and explanations. I highly recommend A People’s Choice.” C. Hannon Get help filing a California Divorce! START MY DIVORCE…or continue reading the article below to learn more about what is community property in California. Each Spouse Gets Half, but Half of What? When a couple gets a divorce in California, the court divides the value of their marital property in half. California refers to the marital property as “community property.” Community property in California is all the money the parties have earned and all the assets they have acquired since their wedding. Separate property, such as rental properties one spouse has owned since before the couple married, or money that one spouse inherited and kept in a separate bank account, does not get divided. The court divides the net value of the community property; it does not divide each asset in half. Therefore, one spouse might get the marital home, while the other gets several vehicles and bank accounts that the couple owned. When a large portion of the community property in California is the marital home, the court usually orders the couple to sell the house and divide the proceeds in half. In families with minor children, the parent with primary physical custody sometimes stays in the house and pays the other parent a lump sum equivalent to his or her share of the house. The division of property is based on the net value of the community property. That means that the amount divided is the total value of the couple’s assets minus the total amount of the couple’s debts. Separate debts, such as student loans that one spouse borrowed before the couple married, do not count toward this figure. Retirement Accounts are Community Property in California The money deposited in retirement accounts during the marriage is a marital asset subject to community property division, and you can get half of it. To get your ex-spouse’s employer to distribute your share of the retirement account to you, you must file for a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). You Can Get Half in Your Divorce, Even Without a Lawyer Hiring a lawyer is an unnecessary expense in simple divorce cases; a legal document assistant can prepare all the documents you need. Instead, choose A People’s Choice, and have a non-attorney registered legal document assistant prepare the documents for your California divorce. You can start your divorce right now using our no-obligation interview. Or call us today at 800-747-2780. Get help with your Legal documents today! A People’s Choice can save you hundreds of dollars by preparing your legal documents instead of an expensive attorney! CONTACT US!Was this article helpful? We would love to know your thoughts! If you found this article helpful, please check the LIKE button below. Your feedback helps us plan topics for future articles. By Sandra McCarthy|2020-06-14T10:37:20-07:00June 14th, 2020|Divorce|Comments Off on What is Community Property in California?