If you are going into a divorce in California with a large amount of wealth and assets, you have a lot to lose through the property divisions the court will make. The best way to make sure both you and your spouse feel that things have been distributed fairly is to work out an agreement on your own. Anything that you can both agree to in writing will take precedence over the default laws and regulations used by the court.
Some couples use a lawyer or mental health professional to facilitate the meditation process. During this process, there are some specific strategies you can use to ensure things stay fair.
Division of debt
If you have a lot of debt on one or more credit cards, collectors will go after the person who’s name is on the card. The Judicial Branch of California points out that some couples settle this by transferring some balance from a joint credit card to a new individual credit card. You may also avoid this situation entirely by using the money from any real property sales involved in the divorce to pay off outstanding debts.
Figuring out who gets what property
When a marriage has gone on for a long time and there is a lot of property, it may not be immediately obvious as to who should get what. You and your spouse can both fill out a Schedule of Assets and Debts separately, and then compare your forms to identify any disagreements on who owns what. If you can agree on who owns what, then you can add up the total value of assets and subtract the debts to arrive at an estimate of what exactly is on the table to be divided.