How do we divide our assets and debts?

Who takes possession and control of assets pending the divorce?

Spouses have a continuing fiduciary duty as to any activity affecting their community property during a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, or nullity of marriage. It is the policy of the state of California to protect and preserve community assets existing at the date of separation in order to prevent one or both spouses from dispensing with these community assets before distribution.

Do I have to move out of the residence?

No. You do not have to move out of the residence pending the divorce. However, if one spouse moves out and continues to pay the mortgage on the residence, that spouse may be entitled to receive reimbursements and/or credits for the payments made while the divorce is pending.

Am I able to force my spouse to move out of the residence?

No. You cannot force your spouse to move out of the residence unless a domestic violence restraining order exists.

How is financial asset and debt information provided?

During the dissolution process, both parties will have to complete and exchange their preliminary declarations of disclosure. These documents require the parties to disclose any assets and debts, whether acquired before or during the marriage, or after the date of separation. The parties must also disclose information regarding employment, such as where he/she is employed and how much he/she is earning. Each party must also disclose their monthly expenses.

These documents are signed by each party under penalty of perjury.

What if I do not have information regarding our assets and debts?

You should complete the questions regarding assets and/or debts to the best of your ability. Remember, you must sign the judicial court forms regarding your assets and debts under penalty of perjury.