Keller & Weber

property

​Identification - reference is made here to the PDD.  Further, discovery during the course of litigation may identify reveal other property which may not have found its way onto a party's PDD for a variety of reasons.

​Valuation – can be determined in various ways, including, agreement between the parties, or expert appraiser.  The court is required to make a substantially equal division of the community property assets and debts.  Thus, valuation of an asset is important in the overall process and development of a Marital Balance Sheet;

Characterization – whether property is community or separate.  Applicable statutory provisions include, except as otherwise provided:  (i) community property is all property acquired by a married person during marriage while domiciled in California ("CP");  (ii) a marital acquisition located outside of the state of California, if community property if located in California, may be treated as community property under quasi-community property law for purposes of defining marital property debt liability and property division rights upon marriage termination; (iii) separate property includes property owned before marriage, property acquired during marriage by gift, bequest, devise or descent, and the “rents, issues and profits” of any such property ("SP").   Generally, the basic analysis of property will involve:  date of acquisition; how was it acquired and from whom; what was the use of the property during marriage; how was the property paid for during marriage; and, what transactions affected the property during marriage.  There are complex issues concerning property that often arise within the context of a marriage dissolution. For example: (i) a business is brought into marriage by a party, which is that party's SP, and during marriage the separate property owner uses his/her community property efforts working the business, for which he/she recieves a salary, and the business appreciates in value over the course of the marriage. Here, a forensic CPA would be recommended in order to develop an opinion as to the value of the asset at date of marriage, its value at date of separation, whether the community was adequately compensated during the marriage, and identification of any community property interest; (ii) a residence is brought into the marriage by a party, which is that party's SP. It is used as the family residence and during marriage the principle mortgage balance is paid down by CP income,  the property appreciates in value, and improvements paid for by CP are made.  There would exist a community property interest, which would be quantified either through cooperative efforts between respective counsel or engagement of a forensic CPA; (iii) a residence is purchased during marriage, with the down-payment being traceable to a party’s SP.  The residence is CP, subject to proof by tracing of the down-payment to a party’s SP which would be confirmed as that party’s SP.          

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