Fair and Precise Marital Property Division

Helping You Navigate the Complicated Process of Dividing Assets

Arriving at an equitable distribution of your marital assets is a complicated but necessary part of a divorce. Both parties are concerned about a solution that is fair and will support them in this new stage of life. Our marital property division process will help you find an acceptable solution that meets all California legal requirements.

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Protecting Your Interests When Dividing Community Property

Marital property division is often the most complicated part of any divorce. Even if you and your spouse have an amicable split, you still may not understand how to go about dividing your assets. You will need an experienced divorce attorney to help you understand the rules and look out for your best interest.

I am family law attorney Paula J. Goforth, and I have over 20 years of experience guiding clients through the difficult maze of determining an equitable distribution of assets during divorce. I also help unmarried couples who are splitting up and need help dividing their combined assets in a Marvin Action. If you are looking for a caring lawyer who will take the time to explain your options, come to Goforth Family Law & Mediation. I am certified by the California State Board of Legal Specialization as a legal specialist in the area of family law.

Understanding California’s Community Property Laws

California is a community property state, which means that courts will divide marital property evenly between divorcing spouses. Although that sounds like a simple enough concept, confusion often enters when deciding what constitutes marital property.

Marital property includes anything a couple acquired, earned, or bought during the marriage. This can include debts as well as assets. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, including anything received as a gift or inheritance.

When dividing assets, the court will view nonmarital assets as separate property, which you will likely be able to keep. Separate property includes assets you owned prior to the marriage. However, if you comingled your separate property with your marital property, your spouse may have a partial claim. For example, if you purchased your house with your own down payment before you were married, but you continued to pay the mortgage during your marriage, your spouse may have a claim to a certain interest in the house.

Untangling Complicated Finances

As you can see from the example above, property division in divorce can become complicated quickly. Other examples of complex property division issues include:

You should both understand the proper approach for dividing these assets before you enter negotiations. That way, you are more likely to come to a mutual understanding of the best method for division in your situation. If you have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, I can explain how it will affect the process.

Determining Child and Spousal Support

If you have children, you will have to address the issue of child support. The court will not approve a dissolution agreement that fails to provide for a child’s financial needs. California’s support guidelines will give you a good idea of what the court expects from both parents. I will review these guidelines with you to make sure your agreement will meet the court’s expectations regarding both financial support and your custody and visitation agreement.

In certain cases, alimony, also known as spousal support, could be relevant. Judges look at many factors when deciding whether to grant alimony. I can help you determine whether your case is a likely candidate for either temporary or long-term spousal support.

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An Experienced Attorney for the Equitable Division of Assets

If you are looking for answers to your marital property questions, reach out to me for an appointment. You may call my office in Carlsbad or schedule a consultation online. I serve clients throughout San Diego County and the surrounding areas.

Do You Have Questions About Marital Property Division?

Below Are Some Common Questions about Property Division in Divorce

California is a community property state. All marital assets must be divided equally between the spouses unless there is a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in effect.

Consulting an accountant may be helpful if you have complicated finances to unravel. A financial professional can give you insight into the value and status of your assets and liabilities.

In most cases, pre-marital assets are considered separate property, and they are set apart from divorce negotiations. There can be exceptions to this rule, so accurate information is critical.

Funds in IRAs and 401(k)s are joint property that may require division. Our team can guide you through the process of creating proper legal orders to avoid penalties.

If you and your spouse are communicating well, mediation by a family law specialist is a helpful way to handle asset division in divorce. Handling the process outside the court gives you more flexibility in how you reach a legally acceptable settlement.

Did We Answer Your Question?

Additional Family Law Practice Areas

Along with marital property division, Attorney Paula Goforth is proficient in several areas of family law. A knowledgeable legal partner is an important resource when dealing with family law issues.


As an experienced divorce attorney, Paula Goforth and her staff can handle every aspect of the dissolution of your marriage. Working with someone who knows the law is always beneficial.

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Child Custody

A clear child custody agreement is helpful for everyone in your family. Together, we can create an arrangement that meets the needs of both parents and children.


Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements

Legal agreements provide clarity about assets for the future and clarify expectations in the event of a divorce. Attorney Goforth can lead you calmly through the process.

Post-Judgment Modifications

The unpredictability of life may mean you need to change your divorce agreement after it is final. Working with an experienced family law specialist will prevent unnecessary misunderstandings.



Under the right circumstances, third-party mediation is a helpful process for handling divorces and other negotiations. If the parties involved are able to communicate calmly, Attorney Goforth can talk them through difficult discussions to a successful resolution.