Once the divorce starts in CA, each spouse will be required to disclose all their assets to the other. But how do you know they're telling the truth? You don't and that's why you need to do your homework before you move out and take an inventory.
Copy All Files Related to Finances
You'll want six months at least of bank statements on checking and savings accounts. This will show you not only exactly what is in the pot but how it is being spent. It may be that your soon to be ex is squandering community assets. Knowing this in advance will make proving it at your divorce easier.
Copy All Files Related to Real Estate
That means everything. The deed to the family home, the bank loan and any encumbrances, the deed to the time share or vacation home. You'd be surprised how difficult it can be to reconstruct all this once you've moved out.
Copy All Files Related to Pension, Retirement, 401ks, Keough's, Whatever
You will be entitled to a share of your loved one's pension, especially if you were the stay at home spouse and don't have one. Flush out account numbers and depositories because you'll need these later. The pay out to you may be substantial.
Copy Credit Card Statements
As you can see this list can run on. But if your spouse has credit cards in his/her name money may be being spent on luxuries the community will end up being responsible for. Don't get stuck dividing up the family credit card debt while he/she walks away with a clean AmEx Card.
Sounds Nasty Doesn't It?
Well so is divorce and in CA the law says you are entitled to half of community assets. That's easy to say but you got to know how to identify these things. In most couples one person has the major hand in the finances. If that's not you, you'll especially want to follow this guide step by step.
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