The laws of community property are simply stated: what you create during marriage is community property and gets divided by two. Everything else is separate property. Unfortunately, community property disputes can be highly subjective and therefore disputed. An experienced Family Law attorney will help you to understand your specific situation and property interests.
When one spouse’s pre-marital business or professional practice grows during marriage, that growth is presumed to be community property. Payment of a mortgage on a pre-marital home coupled with market appreciation can create substantial community interest in a house titled separately to one spouse. Employment compensation in the form of stock options and pension plans are also subject to the “community clock.” Unforeseen changes in local economies such as real estate and high technology can turn these abstract community property theories into disputed assets worth more than either spouse ever imagined. In more complex cases, consultation with expert accountants and appraisers is almost always required.
Through trial and settlement of countless disputed community property issues, David has successfully resolved cases involving medical practices, real estate, restaurants, agriculture (vineyard, dairy and timber) construction companies (commercial, residential and marine), grocery, and other retail operations.
David’s relationships with experienced experts and mediators enables clients to achieve rational settlement options. Settlement of property issues is not always easy. Statutes are modified every year and appellate court rulings are published weekly. A client must be made aware of current or pending changes in property law which might affect the division of a particular asset in his or her case. In the cases requiring a court trial, intense preparation and focused trial advocacy ensures the client that his or her version of a community property dispute will be clearly presented and understood by the court.