Asset & Property Division

Asset & Property Division in Westlake Village

Thousand Oaks Divorce Lawyers to Help With Complicated Property Division Decisions in California

One of the first concerns people have when considering divorce is whether or not they will be able to keep their home and other personal belongings near and dear to them, and to protect their assets from being unfairly divided in a divorce action. 

California is a community property state. There is a presumption that everything acquired from the date of marriage to the date of separation is community property, except assets acquired by gift or inheritance. 

Is Everything Split 50/50 in a Divorce in California?

In California, there is no 50/50 split of marital property. California uses a community property standard for asset division when couples divorce. The law mandates fair division but does not require a 50/50 split of marital assets and debt.

Each spouse is entitled to 50% of marital property. Virtually all property, money, and assets acquired during the marriage are considered marital property with minimal exceptions, such as an inheritance left only to one spouse.

The presumption can be rebutted. However, the burden of proof to rebut the presumption is on the person seeking to prove that the asset is not community property.

Property division is often a source of stress and substantial litigation during the divorce process. 

Property division can also be accomplished without litigation, however, by obtaining a divorce through collaborative law,mediation or agreement of the parties. No matter what your situation may be, consult with a Westlake Village divorce attorney from Richard Ross Associates today.

Our firm proudly serves Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, and other communities in both Ventura County and Los Angeles County. If you are entering into a divorce and need a lawyer who can skillfully handle your case, proving what property is yours and how much you deserve to receive in a settlement, hire Attorney Richard Ross. As a certified family law specialist, he is qualified to negotiate, mediate or litigate  on your behalf to reach a fair divorce order. Call today or fill out our online case evaluation to get started!

How are high net worth divorces different?

One of the most difficult and often aggressive areas of a divorce proceeding is property division, especially in high-asset divorce cases. Individuals who are well-off financially and/or own their own businesses may have much more to lose in a divorce proceeding, especially when they retain a Westlake Village divorce attorney who does not have the  knowledge, skill or ability to protect their assets to  obtain a reasonable  settlement or trial verdict in their family law case. If you are facing a high net worth divorce or legal separation proceeding, speak with an attorney from Richard Ross Associates today.

Forms of Asset Protection

Our Westlake Village divorce firm has what it takes to protect your assets from unfair property division, both before and during a divorce. Many problems can often be entirely avoided by properly drafting a prenuptial agreement with your spouse-to-be before you get married. You can also draft a post-nuptial agreement if you are already married but want to protect your assets in the event of an unfortunate and/or unforeseen divorce or legal separation in the future. Attorney Richard Ian Ross is a California certified family law specialist with a detailed and extensive understanding of the laws applying to such legal issues. Set up your initial consultation with our firm today to begin protecting your finances and assets.

Need a divorce lawyer in Westlake Village or Thousand Oaks?

With over 40 years of extensive legal experience, your Westlake Village divorce attorney will be more than qualified to handle your asset protection or high net worth divorce case should you choose to retain Richard Ross Associates. We will investigate every detail of your case in order to ensure that you receive personalized and effective representation and maximum results. Few firms offer the client care and experienced counsel that we offer to every client. Contact us right away to set up your initial case evaluation and discuss your options with a divorce attorney in Thousand Oaks or Moorpark who can help.


  • I heartily recommend him to anybody in need of a well qualified, results-oriented, family law specialist.

    “I would not hesitate to, again, retain the legal services of Richard Ross.”

  • Our family and our dignity have been restored.

    “Mr. Ross and his supportive, competent staff put their hearts into their work and literally turned our lives around.”

  • The results far exceeded my expectations.

    “The entire staff at Richard Ross Associates really helped me through my divorce and they were with me the whole way.”

  • Extremely thorough and professional!

    “Richard has helped me through a very difficult divorce and I can't say enough good things about him.”

  • Polite, caring, and quick to respond.

    “Richard Ross is a subject matter expert in the field of family law.”


  • This is very important: If you have separated from your spouse before one of you has filed for dissolution of marriage or legal separation, avoid agreeing to and placing into effect a temporary parenting plan arrangement regarding the children unless you will be able to live with this arrangement after the divorce papers have been filed. Once you begin a parenting plan that seems to be working, it becomes the "status quo." It is very difficult to convince a mediator or judge to change the status quo, especially if it is working or appears to be working and is not detrimental to the minor children.
  • If you have not received a judgment dissolving your marriage before the end of the year, you may file an individual tax return under the status of "married, filing separately" or a joint tax return with your spouse. You should consult your accountant as to the advantages of these options. You may obtain special information booklets regarding tax information for divorce or separated individuals from your local IRS office or read the IRS booklet online.
  • To file an action for divorce, also known as dissolution of marriage, a person must have resided in the state of California for six months and in the county where the action is filed for three months prior to filing the petition in court. This is true of either the petitioner or the respondent - either person can meet the test and allow a filing. If your spouse meets the residency requirement, you can file even if you do not meet it yourself.
  • The court can and usually will order you to move out of your residence if your spouse convinces the court that you have been violent toward your spouse or threatened your spouse. You could be given ex-parte notice to be in court the next day because your spouse is seeking an order to make you move out and stay out. You can be ordered to leave immediately and not return even if your spouse is not on the property title or lease agreement! Once you are ordered to leave, it is not likely that you will be allowed to return.
  • Before you get a divorce, photocopy all relevant financial documents that you can obtain and store them off-site with a trusted friend or relative. Do not store them in the trunk of your car where they can easily be found and removed by your spouse. There may be both personal and strategic reasons not to tip off your spouse that documents are being reviewed for a possible dissolution proceeding. Make copies of documents that you find in the residence and return the original documents to their original location as soon as possible so that your spouse won't notice that they are missing. It is often advisable to make the photocopies when you are sure your spouse is away for an extended time, such as during a workday. It is advisable to gather as many relevant financial documents as possible while they are still available and before they have been removed or destroyed by your spouse. This will significantly reduce the cost of divorce litigation if the documents do not have to be recovered later. It will also permit us to get a true picture of all community assets and debts as soon as possible.