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Property division

At the Law Offices of John S. Cowhig, we advocate for both men and women, in equal number, and skillfully educate, negotiate, mediate, or litigate to protect the interests of our clients.

property division

If you are considering divorce, you may be worried about how the assets you have accumulated during your marriage will be divided. For high-net-worth couples the issues of distributing property are particularly complex; the assets to be distributed may include sophisticated assets like complex investments, real estate, closely held or family-run businesses, stock options and retirement benefits. If you find yourself dealing with some of these issues, you are right to be concerned. You need someone with the experience and skill to give you useful and practical advice. You need an attorney who can protect your interests and guide you through the distribution of your community property estate.

Community property is presumed to include all property acquired by the parties, individually or jointly, from the day you marry through the date you or your spouse decides that there is a final end to the marriage (also called your date of separation). That property must then be divided equally with few exceptions. This presumption equally applies whether an asset or debt is obtained in one party’s sole name during marriage or they are acquired in both parties’ name. So, that bank account or retirement account in one party’s name does not, in and of itself, mean that the party whose name is on the account is entitled to the funds in that account. Similarly, those charges made on a credit card the other party had no knowledge even existed is also presumed a community debt and still split equally. There can be some exceptions to this, such as breaches of fiduciary duties and division of personal injury awards to name just a couple. This is why it is important to discuss your property issues with a family law lawyer prior to reaching an agreement on the division of your community property.

Separate property is all property that is not community property. This typically includes property owned before marriage that still exists at time of separation. It also includes assets that were inherited or gifted to a party during marriage. Separate property used during marriage to acquire community property can be reimbursed under the proper circumstances.

An experienced California family law attorney will make sure you receive your appropriate half of the marital assets.

John S. Cowhig uses his more than 26 years of experience to handle the legal issues and complexities involved in appropriately analyzing, characterizing, and dividing your community property estate. Contact John S. Cowhig to discuss your property rights as part of an action to dissolve a marriage. You can also reach us by phone at (949) 476-0571.

At The Law Offices of John S. Cowhig, we handle divorce and family law cases throughout Riverside, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Orange County, CA.

No matter the specific issue you face, you will need an attorney on your side to safeguard your interests and your future by providing a custom solution for your case.  We are prepared to help our clients with compassionate and supportive guidance when it is needed most.  However complicated your case may seem, our skilled attorneys and winning strategies can help.

In addition to our proficiency in handling a vast variety of cases, our lawyers are adept at aggressively litigating cases and at negotiating.  We aim to make each case as easy and pleasant for the parties involved as possible.  We constantly update clients on the state of their case and provide our full support and attention.  No matter what our clients’ goals are, we take their hopes to heart, fighting relentlessly to protect their interests and achieve the best outcomes.

More practice areas

Business valuation


Spousal Support


Prenuptial & Post-Nuptial agreements


Contact US

We take your family law matters very seriously.

Below, we’ve provided a number of ways for you to contact our professional staff:


Law Offices of John S. Cowhig,

19600 Fairchild Road, Suite 295

Irvine, California, 92612


 (949) 333-0580 




8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

7 + 7 =

The Law Offices of John S. Cowhig is found within Irvine’s beautiful Main Plaza, located just right off of the 405 & 55 Freeway.