Something you will probably spend a lot of time on during your divorce proceedings is dividing your property. Unless you have a prenuptial agreement that spells it all out, you will have to sort out who gets which assets. California is a community property state, which means property ownership is split 50/50. However, this does not mean that property will always have an even 50/50 split.
According to the California Courts, the 50/50 split is not about the number of assets but rather the value of the assets. You both need to come to an agreement that would allocate property in a fair and even manner according to value. This could mean that you get very few high-value assets and your spouse gets a higher number of lower value assets.
Physical division is different
A good example is if you have two of something, such as two vehicles. It is not enough for you each to take one vehicle, especially if the values of the vehicles are different. So, physically dividing your assets in half is almost never going to result in an acceptable division that the court will allow.
Debt plays a role
You also need to remember that debt qualifies as your marital property, too. So, if you take on debt, that lowers the value of the assets you have. You have to keep this in mind because you always must aim at the 50/50 value split.
Preparing for property division
One thing for you to do is take an inventory of your property before you go to court. This will help to ensure you know what assets and debts you have so you can have a chance to make decisions about what you want while also developing a solid plan for when you get in the courtroom to work on the property division.
Property division can be time-consuming, but it is a necessary part of untangling your lives so you and your spouse can finalize the divorce. It can take some work, but coming to a fair agreement with equal values for each of you is the desired outcome.