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Who gets the boat and vacation home in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Oct 19, 2023 | Property Division

The process of divorce can be emotionally taxing, particularly when it comes to the division of assets like a boat and a vacation home.

In California, the rules governing this division are clear-cut, ensuring an equitable distribution of property between the spouses.

Community property principle

California operates under a community property principle. This means that any property acquired during the marriage is typically community property. It is jointly owned by both spouses, regardless of who paid for it or whose name is on the title. The boat and vacation home will be subject to this rule if acquired during the marriage.

Separate property

Property owned by one spouse before the marriage or acquired through inheritance or gift during the marriage is separate property. Separate property remains with the original owner and is not subject to division. If the boat or vacation home falls into this category, it belongs exclusively to the spouse who owns it.

Fair and equitable division

California law mandates the division of community property in a fair and just manner. This does not necessarily mean an equal 50-50 split. Instead, the court considers various factors to ensure a fair division. These factors may include each spouse’s income, their respective contributions to the property and their future financial needs.

Negotiation and mediation

Many couples choose to negotiate and reach an agreement on property division without court intervention. Mediation is a common approach that allows both parties to discuss their preferences and work toward a mutually acceptable resolution. If spouses cannot reach an agreement, the court will step in and decide.

As one of the 70,000 registered boat owners in Orange County, California, a divorce can greatly impact your boating hobby. Understanding the rules surrounding property division can help alleviate some of the stress.