San Francisco Property Division Attorney

San Francisco Community Property Division Attorney

Must You Have A Lawyer Divide Your Assets In Divorce?

Keith F. Carr is a San Francisco Community Property Division Attorney with over 30 years experience in divorce. No, it is not mandatory under California law for you to have a lawyer in a divorce proceeding. However, unless you want to lose your share of community assets in divorce, you should consult an attorney for a fair and equal distribution of assets. This is especially true of your retirement plan and your house, both probably your most valuable assets.   

A divorce often entails an emotion element from both spouses. Negotiations may break down. The Law Offices of Keith F. Carr can help you prepare the proper paperwork in your divorce to divide your community property with your spouse and shield your separate property. Without a lawyer, you will not know the qualifying paperwork to use, and whether or not assets should be claimed or disclosed to your spouse. 

Divorce cases often involve complex and intricate financial and property issues, such as stock options, retirement accounts, real estate, and personal property. The Law Offices of Keith F.Carrr is well-versed in the complexities of property division and has extensive experience in handling these matters in and out of court. 

We can also work closely with your accountants to trace and assess assets, as well as determine the tax implications of property division. 

By consulting with a property division attorney in San Francisco, you can ensure that the division of assets by the court in your divorce is handled with fairness. Do not a make the mistake of navigating the complexities of property division by yourself. Seek the expertise of the Law Offices of Keith F. Carr to guide you through the process.

Characterization of Marital and Separate Property

During a divorce, characterizing the status of property interests as community or separate property is the starting point to determine valuable marital property rights and obligations of the parties.

The parties may agree to the status of all or any part of their property. Absent such agreement, however, this characterization issue must be determined by the court. In California, there exists a vast body of statutory and case law. 

Commuity Property

Absent a prenuptial agreement to the contrary, both spouses are considered equal owners of community property. This means that each spouse has a 50% interest in the assets and debts acquired during marriage in California. Income generated by either spouse during the marriage are generally considered community property.

Separate Property

Separate property includes your assets and debts which are not community property. These assets include property bought and owned before marriage and inheritance and gifts received by you during marriage from your family.

 Characterization May Change

In some cases, action taken by a spouse during marriage may have the unintended consequence of turning separate property into community property. Therefore, the issue is not always straightforward. Often what looked like a solid property claim to an asset in divorce by one spouse may not in reality be the case .

Property Valuation Issues

The accurate valuation of assets is important to a fair and equal division in divorce. Assets that may fluctuate over time are challenging. These assets include 401k and profit-sharing plans, businesses, and real estate. Overvaluing an asset may result in one spouse being awarded an unfair portion of the marital estate, while undervaluing an asset may lead to an unequal distribution of property.

The Law Offices of Keith F. Carr can leverage the expertise of forensic accountants, business valuation specialists, and other professionals to ensure accurate valuations and protect the client’s interests.


The Law Offices of Keith F. Carr has extensive experience handling complex family law cases in the San Francisco Bay Area and can provide you with the necessary legal representation to protect your property interests. We understand the importance of reaching a favorable settlement agreement without the need for litigation, but if negotiations break down, we are prepared to advocate for you in court. Contact us today for an initial consultation to discuss your property division concerns and explore the best approach for your specific situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

You can schedule your own appointment online by booking an appointment here.

The Law Offices of Keith F. Carr charges an affordable fee. Where the parties may be willing to negotiate a settlement, we may charge a fixed fee. In more complex cases, we will charge an hourly fee.

About Author

Keith F. Carr is an attorney practicing Divorce, Estate Planning, and Bankruptcy. Attorney Keith F. Carr has over 30 years experience. Founder of Law Offices of Keith F. Carr, located in San Francisco, San Jose, and Palo Alto, Ca.

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