Divorcing is hard on everyone involved, and it can get tricky when you start trying to divide your property. You may have many kinds of assets, like your retirement accounts, home, vehicles, bank accounts and others that you worry you’ll lose out on as a result of dividing what you own.
California is a community property state, which means that your marital assets should be split 50/50. However, you and your spouse can agree to a different division if you can do so outside of court.
What should you do if you and your spouse cannot agree on how to divide your assets?
Dividing your assets isn’t always simple. If you find that you’re not in agreement and can’t come up with a settlement, then you have a few options including:
- Collaborative law
Each of these options is a little bit different but may help you resolve your divorce dispute.
Mediation is a process where both people come together with a mediator and their attorneys to discuss a dispute. The results are not binding.
In arbitration, a private judge or arbitrator hears both sides of an argument and makes a binding decision on the outcome.
With collaborative law, you and your spouse will work through a similar situation to mediation. However, both attorneys agree that they won’t represent you or your spouse if your case isn’t resolved outside of court. This creates a strong incentive to settle, since you’d have to get new attorneys if you wanted to litigate.
Litigation is a final option. Litigation refers to going to trial over the divorce and having a judge hear your arguments. Litigation should be the last resort in most cases, because it is the most time consuming and likely to be the costliest.
These are four options you have to help you divide your assets and work out your divorce disputes. Each one helps in different ways, so depending on how willing you and your spouse are to work together, you may find that one of these is a better option than another for you.