Perhaps the best part of traveling with others is the great meals and shared experiences with a special friend. And perhaps the worst is sorting out who paid for what, who consumed what, and who owes what to whom at the end of the trip. This sorting and separating is challenging enough with friends whose company you enjoy and for whom you do not mind buying dinner. But when you need to sort and separate assets and debts accrued over the course of a marriage with your soon-to-be-ex, the challenge is that much greater.
Property like real estate, furniture, jewelry, vehicles, checking and savings accounts, retirement accounts, investments, and business interests—as well as any associated debts—can fall into three potential buckets during a marriage in California: Yours, mine, and ours.
If you are thinking about a divorce in the Golden State, you may need help understanding which assets and debts are yours, which belong to your ex-spouse, and which belong to the community (both of you). That is because, in California, the court presumes that all property acquired during a marriage is community property (and the court strives to divide community property equally in the event of a divorce). Keep this in mind as you are listing assets and debts and examining your ex-spouse’s disclosures for evidence of omitted assets. However, if you spent separate property to acquire or improve community property, you are entitled to get that money back—so long as you can prove it.