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Dividing stocks and bonds in California divorces  

On Behalf of | Sep 15, 2022 | Divorce |

Divorce is a deeply personal issue, and if contemplating or facing a divorce, you may wonder about many things. If you, or both of you, have high assets, it may not be the first thing to cross your mind, but stocks and bonds are one facet of your assets that deserve particular consideration. In this post, we will discuss how California divorce proceedings might oversee stocks in an investment portfolio.

Community and separate property

State law divides property into two main categories in a divorce: community and separate property. Broadly, community property refers to property or debts acquired during the marriage. Separate property refers to property or debts acquired before or after your date of separation.

Your investment portfolio

If you received company stock as part of a compensation package, or through any means outside of gifts and inheritance, or similarly bonds before your marriage, those would not likely be included in the division of community property. If they were acquired during the marriage, up until the date of separation, they would likely be part of the community marital property.

Date of separation

The date of separation is vital for California divorces, but determining that date is complicated. A family law attorney can help you assess the actual date of your separation as this has significant implications for the division of property. Inheritances or gifts before, during or after the marriage are exempt from community property as California does not define those as earned.

What if we want a unique settlement?

Please note, that while California law requires judges to issue property division under state guidance, you and your Claremont family can also arrive at your agreement through mediation or collaboration. Many families will consider bargained for exchanges when crafting divorce agreements. For example, if you want to retain all company stock acquired during the marriage, your spouse could ask for a property or other asset in exchange. When legal issues affect your family, an attorney can help discuss your personal goals and desired outcomes, so that you may focus on your future.