Mountain View Property Division Attorneys

Divorce Lawyers & Family Law Attorneys

Contact Information

415-366-1899

8a - 6p | M - F Appointment | S - S

800 West El Camino Real Suite 180 Mountain View, CA 94040

Dividing assets and debts can be one of the more challenging parts of a divorce. This is especially true for couples with large or complex marital estates, which is the case for many couples who live in the Silicon Valley/Santa Clara County area. It is important for that you are represented by a legal team that has a complete understanding of California property law along with significant financial sophistication.

Kaspar & Lugay, LLP was founded by a CPA and has several attorneys on staff who has extensive financial litigation and family law experience. Our Mountain View office is equipped to resolve everything from the most complex high-asset divorces  that require litigation to simpler divorces involving smaller estates. Whatever your particular situation, you can be confident that we will protect your property interests so you can enjoy a financially healthy post-divorce life.  

The Basics: Community Property vs. Separate Property

California is one of nine “community property” states in the country. Under California community property law, the following general rules apply:

  • Most property acquired and debt incurred by either spouse during marriage (except gifts or inheritances) is considered community property and is subject to division.
  • Property that either spouse owned prior to the marriage or acquired after the date of separation belongs to the spouse who owned it and is generally not subject to division.

Separate Property Can Become Community Property

It is possible for one spouse’s separate property to become “commingled” with community property during the marriage. For example, if one spouse owned a house before marriage, but then during the marriage the mortgage payments were made with community money, the home can no longer be considered the separate property of the owner-spouse. Instead, the home is a commingled asset, so part of the home’s value will be considered community property and will need to be divided.

How Property Division Works

Property division can be thought of as happening in five steps. These steps sound simple, but they can quickly get complicated:

  1. Identifying all assets and debts: Each spouse is required to list all assets and debts they are aware of, along with all facts and information related to them. This step can be difficult when one spouse has hidden assets or debts from the other, has improperly funneled money through a business or taken various other questionable actions over the years.
  2. Characterizing all assets and debts as community or separate property: Every asset or debt must be characterized as either community or separate (or commingled). This can require deep financial analysis and a process called tracing. Tracing means examining how an asset was acquired – was it bought with community funds or separate funds? Firm co-founder Arvin Lugay’s CPA background is extremely helpful at this phase, because forensic accounting is often required.
  3. Valuing the community property: At this step, appraisers are often required. A neutral home appraiser will appraise the home(s). A neutral business appraiser will appraise any community business interests.
  4. Dividing the community property and debts: Per California Family Code section 2550, all community assets are divided 50/50 between the spouses. Debts, however, are divided “equitably,” which does not necessarily mean equally. One spouse may be assigned more debt than the other.
  5. Dividing the separate property and debts: Property and debt that is characterized as separate belongs solely to the spouse who owns it.

Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreements

If a couple signed a prenuptial agreement prior to the marriage, it must be submitted to the court during divorce. The court will determine whether the prenup is valid. If it is valid, then property will be distributed according to the terms of the contract. The same is true for post-nups. But be aware, courts are much less likely to enforce a postnup than a prenup. If you have either a prenup or a postnup, please show it to our attorneys as early on as possible so we can begin the process of either getting it approved or challenging its validity.

Let Our Mountain View Attorneys Protect Your Property Interests

The Mountain View office of Kaspar & Lugay, LLP has all the resources necessary to resolve even the most complex marital property division issues. Our clients include Silicon Valley business owners, professionals, athletes, entertainers, and people from all walks of life. Please call 415-650-1322 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.


Santa Clara County Courthouse Location

The Santa Clara County Courthouse is where family law hearings will be held. If you need to go to a hearing or need to stop by the courthouse for any other reason, the address for the courthouse is 3501 Civic Center Drive, San Rafael, California 94903.

You’ll want to park in the parking area off Peter Behr Drive in the lot designated for all day parking. The civil clerk’s office, which handles family law and other issues, is located in room 113 on the first floor. Other family court services may be handled in room 116 on the first floor.

Mountain View Family Law Court

Address

3501 Civic Center Dr, San Rafael, CA 94903

Phone

Hours

Local Places to See

The picturesque city of Santa Clara is home to plenty of activities and fun things to do. You’ll want to make sure you look into Santa Clara by the Bay for biking, tree swings, ice cream and more. If you’re ready for an adventure, head on the ferry to Angel Island to have a picnic, go biking, or take a hike.

You can also have a fun night out on the town at any of the amazing restaurants in the area. The weather is beautiful year-round, so it’s always a great time to set off on an amazing adventure and leave the worries of your divorce behind for a little bit.

Do not hesitate to seek legal assistance if you’re considering a divorce, need help with a divorce you’ve already filed, or if you’ve finalized the divorce and need further legal assistance. The law office of Kaspar & Lugay in Santa Clara is going to provide all of the assistance you need before, during and after your divorce. Visit the law office or give them a call today to set up a consultation and discuss your situation with a lawyer.

The Town Of Mountain View, Santa Clara County, CA

Meaning “shark” in Spanish, Santa Clara is a picturesque town situated on the Santa Clara Peninsula, which is located in Santa Clara County. With a relatively small population — only around 9,000 — Santa Clara boasts a number of large areas of undeveloped land in addition to being within close proximity to Angel Island State Park.

Located in the downtown area, our Santa Clara family law firm office is within walking distance of a number of restaurants and attractions. We are also a 5-minute walk from the Santa Clara Town Hall Office and a less than 20-minute drive to the Santa Clara County Superior Court, where Mountain View family law matters are addressed.

The Team

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Kaspar & Lugay, LLP is a family law firm with offices in Corte Madera, CA; Napa, CA; Walnut Creek, CA; and San Diego, CA. We also represent clients in San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Pismo Beach, Contra Costa County, and Los Angeles.