Divorce signature, marriage dissolution document.

How to Prepare for Property Division in California

The property division process is often one of the most hotly contested aspects of any divorce. Understanding how to prepare for your property division case is vital if you want to obtain the best outcome in your divorce.

To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (415) 805-9069.

Make Copies of Ownership Documents (Long-Term)

Having a long paper trail showing a history of ownership for valuable assets is important in property division cases for a few reasons.

Firstly, showing when you acquired a certain asset may help the court determine whether it counts as separate or marital property. Generally, assets and liabilities acquired post-marriage are marital, but exceptions may be made for property intended specifically for one party, such as an inheritance.

Secondly, having ownership documents on hand can help you determine whether your spouse is lying to the court about what assets and liabilities they possess. If you have transactional evidence your spouse owns an asset or liability they’re not reporting to the court, you can use that evidence to help the court penalize them for hiding assets.

Make copies of all important ownership documents you can find, as well as other financial evidence that will be useful to the court. This includes mortgages, deeds, tax returns, bank statements, 401ks, stock reports, etc.

Start Evaluating Assets

Knowing how much different assets are worth is critical if you want to get the best outcome in your case.

While you can research the market prices of various assets on your own, complicated assets – such as a business – or items such as heirlooms may be difficult to value. If you can, consider bringing an asset appraiser onto your case. They’ll help you determine the true value of different assets and liabilities.

Start Thinking About Post-Divorce Costs

For example, if you’re going to be paying (or receive) child or spousal support from the other party, you need to take that into account when moving forward with the property division process.

Whether you want to leverage your findings during divorce negotiations or just start budgeting ahead of time, understanding what life will look like for you financially post-divorce can be crucial in helping you pursue a fair outcome during property division.

At Fenchel Family Law PC, we’ll work with you to ensure you obtain the best possible outcome in your family law dispute. To schedule a consultation with our team, contact us online or via phone at (415) 805-9069.