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max713
max713, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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Because of marital problems, I would like to have a 50% share

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Because of marital problems, I would like to have a 50% share in all my husbands assets. Can I accomplish this formally, by putting both our names on all of his bank accounts and corporate shares? I live in California.

max713 :

Hi. I apologize for your difficult circumstance, and thank you for choosing Justanswer for your legal question(s). My role as expert is to provide you with utmost service through providing legal information that is honest and truthful (and not overly rosy in nature). Notably, I do not provide advice.

In California, there's an inherit presumption that money acquired during marriage, monies commingled into bank accounts from money acquired during marriage, and shares earned during marriage, will be split 50/50 at divorce. It might not be possible to append one's name to a bank account or to shares of one's spouse, but it is implied to be split at divorce either way.

Do you have any follow up questions? I welcome any and all - as I am here to serve you.

Customer:

Most of the shares and money were inherited from his parents. The money is in an account with his name on it. I'm guessing he could put my name on the account, but I'm wondering whether a CA would recognize it as community property since the money was inherited? The shares are shares in two corporations, the larger portion of which is in his name. Would a CA court recognize that as community property? Both the money and the shares were inherited after we had been married for several years.

max713 :

If inherited, it is separate property.

max713 :

Hence, shares and money inherited are not divisible.

max713 :

If the bank account contains both inherited and community property money, it is "commingled" making it all divisible.

Customer:

If he puts name on it, does it then become community property? Or is there another way to change the status of the property?

max713 :

If one's name is XXXXX XXXXX could be enough. Certainly, that coupled with a transmutation agreement (i.e. a signed agreement that the property is changing character from separate to community), would change the character of the property.

Customer:

Sorry, I didn't see that I could scroll down. You answered my question about the money. Thank you. What about the shares?

Customer:

OK, great. I think this will help us work through the problem.

max713 :

No problem. It's possible if the shares are commingled, the same reasoning could be applied. If not, the amount inherited would not be distributable, while the rest would be.

max713 :

Do you have any further questions? I welcome any and all - as I am here to serve you.

Customer:

No, this is just what I needed. Thanks again. I re

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