Asset Division During Divorce

California is a community property state. This means that any asset acquired by either spouse during marriage is presumptively considered to be jointly owned. In divorce, all community property must be divided between the parties.

Divorce attorney Cheryl A. Sena, founder of Sena Family Law in San Francisco, is a certified family law specialist and mediator with more than 30 years of experience. Over the decades, she has successfully helped countless divorcing couples fairly divide their marital assets and debts. Such assets often include:


Specific rules govern the division of the family residence, including whether a party is entitled to be reimbursed for any separate property funds that were contributed to the down payment, the allocation of appreciation (or depreciation), improvements and repairs.

In addition, changing the title from one party to jointly owned property, whether as a result of a refinance or otherwise, can create other complications in a divorce. Estate plans may also impact the respective interest of each spouse.

In these complex matters, Ms. Sena has the skill necessary to help clients achieve fair and accurate results.


Because they must be accurately valued, businesses are the most complicated asset subject to division in a divorce action. Numerous different formulas exist for valuation purposes, most of which require expert testimony. Even if the business was started prior to marriage, a community property interest can arise.

Oftentimes, the "out spouse" (the spouse not running the business) does not have direct knowledge of the business operations, making it even more challenging to determine the full scope of that spouse's interest. Forensic accountants may be required to trace business transactions and otherwise help develop a full picture of the business's assets and liabilities.


Determining the community portions of both real property and/or family businesses can be stressful and resource-intensive. This means that choosing the right lawyer to represent you in a high-asset dissolution is extremely important.

Turn to Cheryl A. Sena for the experienced legal counsel you require in the asset division process. Call 415-906-2556 or email the firm today for a free initial consultation.

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