There are four basic tasks when dividing up assets and debts in a divorce: listing, characterizing, valuing and dividing. In the California Judges Benchguide on the subject, a checklist gives recommended steps for a judge to follow in listing and characterizing the assets and debts in a divorce. By “characterizing” we mean determining for each asset/debt whether it should be considered community (marital), separate (belonging to one of the spouses), or a mixture of the two.
You don’t have to follow these steps when listing and characterizing your assets and debts on your own or in mediation. But it’s a good overview and a useful guide. Continue Reading