Divorce in California: Schedule of Assets and Debts
On the heels of last week’s California Income & Expense Declaration blog post, today’s post is focused on the Superior Court of California Schedule of Assets and Debts. Again, in the case that you and your spouse of filing for divorce, you’ll end up dividing your belongings, and possibly cash & investments, evenly between the two of you.
The best place to start by making a list of everything you own. Take the time to figure out which items are separate property, which items are community property (you both own the item), and what the fair market value of each item is. You’ll have to do this to finalize your divorce anyway, so get ahead and fill out a Schedule of Assets and Debts (Form FL-142). This is one of those forms you are required to exchange with your spouse or domestic partner in your financial declarations of disclosure in the case of divorces and legal separations.
The reasons for your divorce are none of our business. But helping clients is our business. Divorce can be painful, stressful, and emotionally taxing, and that’s why we don’t want the hassle of paperwork to cause you more undue stress.
Be open and honest when listing everything of value you own. Keeping things hidden will only result in messy penalties, and trust us, someone will find out about it. Take a few hours, or a few days, to fill this form our completely, while your soon-to-be ex-partner does the same. And when you’re ready, if you can, come together civilly and compare notes. Make note of any major differences between your two lists. Do you place vastly different values on community property? Do you agree on the items that you think or separate property? For the sake of simplicity, hopefully you both come to an agreement that lands you both with roughly the same amount of valued property. If you find you just can’t come to an amicable middle ground on how to divide the property, then the case will have to go to trial. (To read more about your options, check out the California Courts website.)