Division of Property and Checklist

Understanding equal division of assets and liabilities

Dividing Community Property

In California, all property of a married person is classified as either the separate property of one spouse, or community property that is owned by both spouses jointly. 

California law requires equal division of community assets and liabilities. Separate property of each party should be listed and confirmed to that party. Which assets will be divided equally and in-kind, and which will be allocated solely to one party or the other to produce this equal division should be discussed. Our mediators will help you create productive discussions about dividing the items listed below.

Asset and Liabilities Checklist 

Remember to deal with all of these assets and liabilities:

  • Family Residence, with its loans.
  • Other Real Property, with its loans. This includes time-shares.
  • Owner-Operated Businesses, including corporations, partnerships and sole proprietorships.
  • Life Insurance insures each party’s life, together with cash value.
  • Employee Benefits, including stock, stock options, pension and profit-sharing, retirement, ESOP, stock purchase, accrued sick and vacation pay, paid time off, “comp time.”
  • Investments, including limited partnerships, joint ventures and other such investments.
  • Account Balances on deposit in the checking, savings, credit union, brokerage, and other institutional accounts.  This includes IRA’s, CD’s and other such cash accounts.
  • Stock and Stock Options, Bonds
  • Vehicles, with their loans (cars, trucks, airplanes, motorcycles, boats).
  • Household Furniture, furnishings, equipment and personal effects.
  • Lawsuits, proceeds or liabilities.
  • Money Owed To Others (loans made, lines of credit, second mortgages, and so forth)
  • Money Owed To You
  • Intellectual Property (royalties, patents, computer programs, prizes, and the like, including work in progress at separation).
  • Frequent Flier Miles accrued during marriage.
  • Club Memberships or Season Tickets
  • Cemetery Plots
  • Reimbursements and Credits Owed for payments of marital bills or loans made after separation.

* Adapted from Jordan & Miller, “Settlement Checklist.” Reprinted with permission.