Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio often has to field the following question from female clients: My husband and I have a lot of assets we acquired during our marriage. How can I be sure that I get my fair share?
Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio often must field the following two-part question from female clients who are in the process of divorcing: My husband and I have a lot of assets we acquired during our marriage. How can I be sure that I get my fair share?
It’s a simple question, but deceptively simple. The term “fair share” is relative. While almost everything that you and your spouse acquire during your marriage is marital property, everything from the family home to such non-tangible assets as retirement benefits, fairness is in the eyes of the beholder.
“No matter where you live in the United States, you will not automatically receive half your marital assets in a divorce,” says Orange County divorce attorney Gerald Maggio. “Not even in California.”
California is a community property state. “In California, division of property begins at 50-50,” Maggio says. “But there are some important things you should know about community property.”
All assets are considered to be community property, but so are all debts. “Both are generally split right down the middle,” Maggio says, adding that it can also get tricky when spouses become evasive. “Spouses who are aware of the community property provisions may hide debt or increase debt because they know that their estranged spouse is equally responsible.”
If you don’t solely live in California, but have residency in two states (for instance, one that is community property and one that is equitable distribution), your divorce could become a daymare. “Here you might want to ask your attorney which state would be more beneficial for you to file in,” Maggio says. “As a general rule, the higher wage owner will come out better in an equitable distribution state, while a stay-at-home spouse would benefit from the community property state.”
Besides California, only eight other states use the divorce standard of community property for distribution of marital assets. These are Arizona, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, and Washington. The remaining 41 states do not have community property laws as their standard.
To learn more about the Maggio Law Firm visit http://www.maggiolawfirm.com/.