As you go through your divorce, one thing you will need to do is determine how you're going to divide your property with your spouse. Your marital property may include anything from the home you purchased together to your shared automobile.
By law, property is defined as anything that can be sold or purchased. It is anything with value. It might be difficult at first to determine which property is shared. One good way to think about property is to determine what assets you brought into the marriage and which were purchased after you married.
In general, property is divided 50-50 in California. However, debt is treated a little bit differently. While shared debt may be divided in half between each of the parties, it's more likely that it will be divided equitably. That way, one spouse won't be left paying a substantial amount towards the other's student loans, for example.
What kinds of property should you get more information on?
When it's time to start identifying your assets, look for things like:
- Bank accounts
- Pension plans
- 401(k) plans
- Life insurance
- Business interests
Anything from artwork in your home to your shoe collection could be divided upon divorce if those items were purchased during your marriage.
Once you identify those assets, get more information. Determine when they were purchased, and do your best to show which of those items are your separate property. Your attorney will then help you as you determine how to divide the remaining marital assets by negotiating with your spouse or taking a dispute to court.