Dividing your property isn't always going to be easy, especially if you've been married for many years. In California, you'll be bound by community property laws if you go to court to divide your property unless you have a pre- or post-nuptial agreement in place that dictates how you'll divide your property.
It is important for people to be clear on the fact that California's marital property laws require a 50-50 split upon divorce. All marital property is divided equally unless you can agree on a different arrangement. For example, if you earn less than your spouse, they might agree to split your assets 70-30 or 60-40.
How can you protect your separate property during divorce from a long-time spouse?
It can certainly be harder to protect your assets if you're divorcing from a long-term spouse. Why? You may not have kept your assets separated. For example, if you received an inheritance and kept it in a separate bank account, then that would be considered separate property. However, if you put it in a joint account, it would become your spouse's property, too. That kind of intermingling can make it appear that you intended to share your separate property, turning it into marital property.
If you do have separate assets, try to find documentation to prove that they are separate. Without those pieces of evidence, you may find that the court does not agree that they are separate and includes them in your property division dispute. Your attorney will talk to you more about your assets and how to show that they are separate.