July 2, 2015 By Paul Wallin
division of assets - family heirlooms
A pocket watch family heirloom

In order to know how assets are generally divided following a divorce in San Bernardino County, it is necessary to know something about community property. Community property is a collection of all assets that are acquired during the marriage. Following divorce, property that was acquired before marriage or property that you’ve inherited is separate property.

Division of Assets After Divorce Generally

When you get divorced, all your community property, that is all joint assets, are divided equally in kind—50-50. This includes everything from houses, land, furniture, jewelry, money from bank accounts and other rare collectibles. In sum, pretty much anything can be subject to asset division in California.

Antiques and Family Heirlooms

Generally, any family heirlooms or antiques that have been given to you as part of your inheritance is separate property and thus not subject to asset division. However, California law recognizes something called transmutations, which means that if something started as separate property, it can be transformed into community property and thus a divisible asset during divorce.

For example, if your great grandmother’s diamond wedding ring was given to you as an engagement ring years ago, it could be transmuted into community property as a gift to the marital assets. You may be required to show that certain assets, whether it’s your grandmother’s ring or any other heirloom, are in fact family heirlooms rather than marital property. This can be shown by testimony from family members or other proof that shows the item was intended to remain separate property.

A prenuptial agreement is always a good idea for this purpose, because it establishes in writing the character of personal assets. All your family heirlooms can be enumerated in writing, making any transmutation much less likely.

Call a San Bernardino Divorce Attorney at Wallin & Klarich

The San Bernardino family law attorneys at Wallin & Klarich are experienced and skillful in helping with family law and divorce matters. Our attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully helping our clients achieve positive outcomes in divorce cases and division of property matters.

With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich family law attorney available near you no matter where you work or live.

Call our offices today at (888) 749-7428 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the information! I own a few family heirlooms that were handed down to me from my dad, so I’m worried about how I’ll have to divide them up with my husband in my divorce. I’m glad to find out that I won’t have to divide any of my heirlooms with him since they count as separate property. Now I can focus on the more important details that I need to take care of in my divorce.

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