As a heavy equipment operator, you make a good income. Over the years, you have been able to afford a few luxuries like a speedboat and an RV.
You also have a pension plan and a few investments. Now that you are facing divorce, you worry about property division and the splitting of your assets.
Dividing assets and debts
When facing the property division phase of a divorce, preparation is key. Organize your assets. Make a list of everything you own. In California, financial disclosure rules require divorcing couples to complete the Schedule of Assets and Debts, which is a declaration of your marital and separate property and the debts you owe with a value assigned to each item.
Recognizing the most valuable asset
The marital home is often the most valuable asset in a divorce. In your case, the pension plan may be your most valuable asset—possibly worth more than your home, your boat and your RV put together. Division is a complicated process and only achieved through a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO, which must have the approval of both your benefits provider and the judge.
Looking for equality
You and your spouse should come away from the divorce with the equivalent of an equal net share. This means that when you add up the value of the property and subtract your debt, what remains is the net value of your community estate. Neither of you will get everything you want, but a division of property that meets the definition of equality should help you sleep better at night.