Is My Inheritance Considered Community Property in California?
Even though California is a community property state, it does not mean you will automatically receive a fair share of marital property. Your spouse might argue assets are separate or protected under a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. Therefore, you should never assume the court will award you one-half of your assets in a divorce.
Our divorce lawyers at Berenji & Associates have more than two decades of experience handling divorces. Our top-rated family law attorneys in Los Angeles, California, have a comprehensive understanding of issues related to your divorce, including community property, child custody, and spousal support. We consistently obtain successful outcomes for our clients, including multi-million dollar property settlements.
How Berenji and Associates Can Help With Your Property Division Case in Los Angeles, California
Separating or getting divorced is never easy. Even if you and your spouse agree to end your marriage, you still must address many issues before your divorce is final. Trying to divide marital assets can be frustrating and stressful. Hiring an experienced Los Angeles property division attorney can help you navigate the legal issues.
Our California family law attorneys are skilled and aggressive trial lawyers. We do not hesitate to go to court if that is the best way to protect your rights.
However, our lawyers are also resourceful, experienced mediators. We routinely negotiate property settlement agreements that meet our client’s needs and desires.
At Berenji & Associates, our lawyers are recognized by leading organizations. We are included in the Top 100 by The National Trial Lawyers and have been included in the list of California Super Lawyers. Our attorneys and law firm have top ratings from Avvo, Google Business, and Yelp.
When you hire our award-winning legal team at Berenji & Associates, you can expect us to:
- Help you identify community property that is subject to division
- Assist you in protecting your separate property from being included in property division
- Work with investigators and other experts to locate concealed assets and value community property accurately
- Negotiate fair property settlement agreements to protect your rights and avoid costly, time-consuming litigation
- Argue your case at trial if that is the best way to obtain a fair outcome for your case
Are going through a divorce or have questions about property division in California? If so, contact our experienced property division lawyers in Los Angeles, CA, for a case evaluation.
What Is Considered Community Property in California?
Community property typically includes assets or income the spouses acquired during the marriage. The assets may be titled in both names or either spouse’s name. Community property is to be divided equally between the spouses.
Why Is Inheritance Exempt From California Community Property Rules?
California is one of just a few states that adopted community property rules. However, the law recognizes that a family member or other individual has the right to leave an inheritance to someone they choose. The inheritance is intended for the heir alone unless the heir chooses to share their inheritance with their spouse.
In most cases, inheritance received during a marriage remains separate property. However, situations exist where inheritance could become a marital asset subject to community property division.
When Can Inheritance Become Martial Assets Subject to Property Division in a California Divorce?
Inheritance can be changed from separate property to community property. Some examples of how you could cause your inheritance to be subject to property division in California include, but are not limited to:
- You commingle marital assets with your inheritance, such as adding earnings or other marital assets to a financial account you inherited or an account that holds funds you inherited
- You deposit inherited funds into a joint financial account that you and your spouse use to make deposits and withdrawals
- You spend your inheritance to purchase community property, such as a family vehicle, boat, home, and more
- You add your spouse’s name to the title of inherited property, such as a vehicle title or real estate deed
- You use marital funds to invest in inherited property
- Your spouse uses their separate funds to invest in your inherited property
Do you want to maintain a separate property status for your inheritance? If so, keep all documents relating to your inheritance to prove the assets were received through an inheritance. Do not use inherited funds to pay off marital debts or invest in marital property.
Also, create separate accounts for inherited funds. Never use these accounts for marital assets or income earned during your marriage.
Property division can be a complicated and intensely disputed aspect of a divorce. Working with an experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer can give you an advantage and help you protect property that belongs to you.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Los Angeles Property Division Lawyers
Achieving a fair property division is essential in a divorce case. It will provide you with the resources for a solid financial foundation now and in the future.
Call Berenji & Associates to schedule a case review. Let’s discuss how our Los Angeles divorce lawyers can help you receive the property you are entitled to during a divorce or separation.