How you can get the most from a divorce settlement

Not everything of value to you is of the same value to your spouse. You have known this person well enough to marry them, which means you are super familiar with the things they like.

To guarantee that you both get exactly what you want, you both should discuss a mutually beneficial divorce settlement.

List down your separate and community property

Marital or community property includes everything you have accumulated during the divorce. In California law, this includes all your assets and all your liabilities. The division must be fair and equal.

These include:

  • Assets earned or given within the lifespan of the marriage
  • Assets purchased while you were both married
  • Assets from business development
  • Liabilities from business collapse or regression
  • Liabilities accrued from the onset of marriage

From the name itself, separate property includes everything you accumulated before you were legally married. They are all yours.

These include:

  • Assets owned before the marriage date
  • Assets acquired after marriage by gift, inheritance or endowment
  • Income generated by your separate property
  • Liabilities accrued before the date of marriage

You may not know everything your spouse owns or owes while you are married, but they are legally obliged to disclose these during divorce proceedings. Work together with your ex-spouse to make the lists as comprehensive as possible.

Decide what matters most to you and your ex-spouse

Think about the properties and assets that really matter to you. Weigh in the benefits of securing those assets. If both of you are fighting over a particular property, you could have leverage by offering to pay off debt. Now that everything is out in the open, it would be easier to see what you both want to keep and what either one of you is willing to lose.