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Division of Property Appeals


The division of property between divorcing spouses is often the most financially significant aspect of the divorce. It can also be one of the most difficult, for a variety of reasons. Division of property can be quite complicated when there are assets that are difficult to value, such as the relative financial interest of the spouses in a family business that was begun before the marriage, or where there are complex retirement holdings. It is also an area that can be rife with bad faith actions, such as where one spouse attempts to hide assets or devalue them. Finally, it can be emotionally wrenching in some cases, such as where a family home or heirlooms are at stake.

And, unlike other divorce issues such as child custody or spousal support, courts will rarely revisit these decisions later in a modification action. But when a division of property ruling is incorrectly made, you do have the option of appealing the trial court’s decision at the appellate level. Attorney Corey Evan Parker represents men and women in appealing division of property rulings in California and Washington state family law actions.

Common Reasons to Appeal a Division of Property Ruling

Both California and Washington courts follow the principle of community property in division of property matters. This generally means that all property that was earned from efforts during the marriage, or which was acquired with such earnings, is community property that should be divided between the spouses, regardless of which spouse earned or acquired it (California applies a 50/50 split of community property, while Washington applies an equitable division of community property). Separate property, which is property owned by either spouse before the marriage, is generally returned to the spouse who first acquired it.

While this might be a simple matter when the only assets are bank accounts, things get complicated when the assets are complex, assets are comprised of value that is both community property and separate property (e.g. an investment made before marriage that rose in value based on efforts during the marriage), assets may not be immediately liquid (e.g. a retirement account), or where a spouse hides assets.

Common ways in which a judge might hand down an incorrect decision on division of property, and thus would serve as a valid grounds for appeal include:

  • Failing to divide property 50/50 or equitably
  • Devaluing or overvaluing specific assets
  • Making an improper classification between community property and separate property
  • Failing to include property in the marital estate due to intentional or negligent misconduct

You Must Act Quickly to Appeal Your Division of Property Ruling

The window in which to appeal a division of property is limited. In Washington, a party has 30 days from the date an order is made to appeal it, and in California the limit is generally 60 days. Note that the clock starts running when the specific division of property order is made, and not when the divorce is finalized.

When you contact the office of Corey Evan Parker, our team will discuss with you whether you do in fact have appealable grounds, and, if so, examine and evaluate the trial record for error and file the appeal on your behalf.

Contact Corey Evan Parker About Your Division of Property Appeal

Attorney Corey Evan Parker will take the time to understand your division of property matter to determine what options are available to you, and discuss your best strategy for moving forward quickly and effectively. Appeals are time sensitive, so please feel free to contact Corey Evan Parker to get started on your Washington or California family law appeal today. Contact The Appellate Law Firm to schedule a free 30-minute consultation regarding your division of property matter.  

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