Does it matter who earns more in CA property division?

Before, during and after a divorce, there are often allegations from both sides that one party did more than the other to support the marriage. Whether these assertions are true, they can impact the direction of a divorce as well as the post-divorce relationship between two people.

One common point of argument during property division is income. Sometimes one spouse will argue that, because they earned more money during the marriage, he or she is entitled to more of the marital estate after the marriage. In California, though, the community property system of property division is used. This means that, essentially, regardless of who was the higher earner, marital property is subject to an equal division between the two parties.

Of course, this doesn't mean that all marital property is divided into perfectly equal-sized amounts during divorce. What it does mean is that a party typically cannot assert that he or she is entitled to more because he or she earned more throughout the marriage. This is also true regarding which party to a California divorce owned more property during the duration of the union. While marital property is generally subject to equal division in this community property state, parties can come to an agreement themselves on the outcome of property division.

California law allows for parties to an uncontested divorce to agree on the outcome of marital property division. Non-marital property stays with the spouse who owned the property prior to the marriage, while property and debt can be divided in a manner that both parties agree upon. Still, as many divorcing spouses have found out, reaching an agreement on anything in divorce can be a difficult task. An Orange County property division attorney can offer advice regarding the lawful division of assets whether or not the parties are amicable.