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Dividing property and separating non-marital property

Many Oakland, California residents may agree that getting a divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences in life. This may be for many reasons, ranging from the emotional difficulty of separating from a loved one to determining child custody to the general complicated nature of property division. However, if a separating spouse understands applicable law and works within it, he or she can minimize the trouble as much as possible.

Yet, a complicit soon to be ex-spouse is also an imperative factor in the smooth divorce formula. When an ex-partner is unwilling to compromise or further hides assets during the divorce proceedings, things can get all the more complicated.

An expert suggests how one troubled individual should address financial issues in her divorce. Specifically, the divorced woman indicates her ex-husband refuses to inform her of where he kept her inheritance which he was charged with managing during the marriage. California is a community property state which means marital property is divided evenly in divorce. However, non-marital property stays with the original owner. One example of non-marital property is inheritance given to only one spouse.

When she attempted to access the information via the IRS, she was directed to collections as allegedly her husband failed to pay taxes. The expert suggests she request a transcript of prior tax returns using an IRS request form or from a paid income preparer. However, as the statute of limitations on assessment of taxes is three years, such action must be taken promptly.

While obtaining a divorce need not be terribly complicated, it is important to understand one's legal rights before engaging in separation. Further, ensuring one has vigorous representation can help make sure all assets are exposed prior to property division determinations in order for a fair and equitable divorce decree to result.

Source: The Fresno Bee, "Personal finance Q&A: IRS records get tangled in messy divorce," Claudia Buck, Aug. 26, 2013.

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John T. Chamberlin, Attorney at Law
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