Major concerns that arise for couples during a divorce often surround property division and spousal support. If there are children, child support and custody will be of concern, as well. While it is extremely difficult to plan for the emotional choices related to children, most have an idea of preferred outcomes, should a relationship end.
What Affects Separation?
California is a community property state, which means that any assets or debts acquired during a marriage are presumed to be the property of both parties and to be equally divided. Under California Family Code sections 760 and 770, community property includes salary, cars, credit card debt, furniture, and real property. This code excludes inheritance or gifts to one party.
Be aware that just because the law presumes that division should occur a certain way, does not mean that that is how the division has to or will occur. People are always free to enter into agreements that are different than the presumption under the law. Separation of assets can be formalized prior to marriage (prenuptial agreements), or even during the marriage (postnuptial agreements). Common agreements that people enter into involve the characterization of salary earned or credit debt acquired during the marriage.