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My husband filed the dissolution of marrage. We made living trust 3 years ago.The contents can be reflect to the court order?

Thousand Oaks, CA |

We have been married for 17 years in California.
He is already retired and recieving his pension.
He doesn't want to split 50/50.
But, our living trust shows everything 50/50.
And made his proposal through his attorney.

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

A living trust is different from a pre or post marital agreement. California rules of community and separate property will still apply. Sometimes that's a straight 50/50 split. Often, it is more complicated than that. The living trust will, obviously, be dissolved to reflect what each of you will have after the divorce.

You may want to consider discussing your concerns with either a collaborative attorney or an attorney mediator. You will find that there are more options in these to processes than if you litigate (fight this in court). The judge must apply the law, whether you know it or not. In an out-of-court process, you can create an agreement that meets your concerns and you can bring in the professional you need to help provide the information that could impact your decisions later on. This can include an estate planner, a financial planner, and even a communication coach.

I've included some links to help you gather more information. I hope you find it helpful. Good luck.

Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.


Hire an experienced family law lawyer ASAP. Does sign anything until you have had it reviewed by a family law lawyer. You need to educate yourself right away. At least have a consultation and even if you have to pay a consultation fee, it will be well worth the money you spend to do it with the knowledge you will gain.

Michael is in San Jose, California and can be reached at 408-295-4232 or at Consultation fees, rates and retainers vary based on need and ability to pay.


The fact that your community assets are in a living trust shouldn't have any effect on how it's distributed in the divorce. I am not sure why he doesn't want to split everything 50/50. In general, any property gained during the marriage should be community property unless it was a gift or inheritance. The pension is community property to the extent that it was earned during the marriage. You will probably need to have a QDRO completed to split the pension--depending on what type of pension plan it is.

Don't sign anything until your hire an attorney.

Since you were married for more than 10 years, you will received spousal support indefinitely subject to a requirement to try to become self-supporting. So--if you are represented properly, you are looking at getting spousal support for quite a while.

If your spouse makes more money than you, then you can also ask the court to make him pay a portion of your legal fees if you retain a lawyer.

Please give me a call if you have any questions at 805-482-1170. I am located in Camarillo, CA.
Best of luck.

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