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Do you have to list each item on a FL-160 or can you say generally all. Such as household furniture, jewelry, etc.

La Habra, CA |

For example, do I have to list couch, chairs, ring, necklace, or can I just put all as everything will be divided? We want to hire our own accountant to value our assets and debts, agree to what we can first, and then have the courts help with the remaining. Can I somehow list the items as to be determined later?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If you already filled out a FL 160 but do not have a written agreement with your spouse about how to divide the property you will eventually need to provide enough information to finish the case on an FL 160. The court doesn't "help" you with anything. California law says that in most cases your community property will be divided equally. So, make sure that the total community property value minus the c.p. debts is equal for each spouse. Otherwise the judge may not approve your proposed division.

    To make it equal you may need to include an equalizing payment. This is what it sounds like a payment from one spouse to another of cash so the division is equal. I commend you and your spouse for approaching your divorce in a rational way. Hiring your own accountant or other expert to value your property sounds great and it sounds like you're working together to make a fair division of your assets.

    If you can't agree you may be able to avoid a trial on the issue by employing a mediator. Either in conjunction with attorneys or alone to attempt to help you past a sticking point. Below is a link regarding mediation. I hope you guys don't need the information, but knowledge is power.


  2. That will depend on what you are using the 160 for. If you are using the 160 as an attachment to a petition or response, you need not declare the value or proposal of division. In practice, the petition or response is mostly a place holder, and can be amended after filing to change what property you are declaring as community and separate. This only becomes important in the event of a default judgment.

    When filing petitions, instead of attaching the 160 I will often simply put in that community and separate property will be designated in the declarations of disclosure pursuant to Family Code section 2104 at a later time, essentially deferring the designation of assets to be done later at the stage where preliminary declarations of disclosure served.

    If you are using the FL-160 as an attachment to your required preliminary declaration of disclosure (I prefer to use the Schedule of Assets and Debts, FL-142), it is important to list all significant property in which either you, your spouse or the community have an interest. However, in practice it is not practical to list every chair and table. Often I will have clients list all items they think are worth more than $500.00 or so individually, and then give a global estimate of the total for household items such as furniture, clothing, tools and appliances. Remember that most household items will be valued at "garage sale" value unless they have something extraordinary about them (such as an ancient ming vase).

    It sounds to me like you are cooperating, and if that is the case, exact precision is less important than if you intend to contend over every stick of furniture.


  3. I generally advise my clients to make general statements as you suggest on the FL-160 for generic household items, especially if you are looking at coming up with an agreement. Remember you only get garage sale value for household items. You do want to list any specific big ticket items or special heirlooms. For example, if you have an expensive tennis bracelet, Steinway piano or a Rolex watch, you will probably want to list it.

    Remember, the key to the FL-160 is your duty to disclose. When in doubt list it.

    The information in this response is for general information purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice or as creating an attorney-client relatinship.

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