Did you know the assets of the parties may not necessarily be divided equally by the court?
The Court is directed to make an equal division of the community assets at the time of divorce. However there are times the Court is directed to award certain property to one party over the other. At Drizin Law, our goal is to ensure the court awards the appropriate assets to you. If either party inherits property, it is awarded to them as their separate property as it is not considered to be community property. Similarly, a personal injury settlement is not considered to be community property and is awarded to the injured party. Also, a gift to one spouse from a friend or other family member is not considered to be community property. Things gets complicated when, for example, one spouse inherits money and then commingles this money by depositing it in a marital bank account where paychecks and other community property is deposited. This can pose a problem down the road if a divorce petition requests to award the inheritance to one of the spouses. It then becomes necessary to trace the original inherited money to its original source which can be problematic if too much time has passed or a significant activity has occurred in the account so that the inheritance has lost its separated nature.
Division of Retirement Plans: This is often an overlooked and potential catastrophic issue years down the road. People do not realize that their retirement plan or pension may be their biggest asset. We understand issues surrounding these plans such as survivorship benefits that too often get overlooked by lesser experienced attorneys. Although this asset may not be utilized until years after the divorce, the time to look at it is now. The issue of survivorship benefits needs to be determined now as this can have a significant financial impact on you later in life.