Finances and Divorce: Completing the Schedule of Assets and Debts

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Finance and divorce | Hemet, CAA recent study has revealed what some consider to be common wisdom: arguing about money is a top predictor of divorce. Although not the first study of its kind, the 2013 study from Kansas State Assistant Professor Sonya Britt correlates fighting about money with decreased marital satisfaction, which she ties to an increased likelihood of divorce.

Unfortunately, arguments about money don’t end when the marriage does.

If you and your spouse have decided to file for divorce in California, discussing your finances with your divorce attorney is vital. How a splitting couple handles the separation of assets and debts—along with spousal and child support—can significantly impact divorce or dissolution proceedings. Working with your divorce attorney to determine both assets and debts will help you accomplish resolution.

California attorneys use Form FL-142, Schedule of Assets and Debts, to get a clear picture of your finances. This form asks for a description of property, including whether it is separate or community property, its current fair market value, and whether there is any debt owed on the property. The categories of assets listed include the following:

  • Real property
  • Household appliances and furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Vehicles, including boats and trailers
  • Accounts, including checking, savings and other deposit accounts
  • Cash
  • Tax refunds
  • Life insurance policies
  • Retirement, pensions, IRA, annuities, profit-sharing
  • Business interests
  • Unsecured notes
  • Other assets not listed above

In addition to assets, the form also asks you to list your debts, including:

  • Outstanding loans
  • Taxes
  • Credit card and other consumer debt
  • Support arrearages if applicable
  • Other debts not listed above

While the Schedule of Assets and Debts is meant to be an exhaustive list, it is only one part of the total package of information divorcing couples must submit to family court. The Schedule is the basis for drafting, negotiating, and reviewing a separation agreement between the parties, which then becomes the basis for alimony and child support agreements. Working with a knowledgeable family law attorney can be helpful when completing the Schedule of Assets and Debts and negotiating other aspects of your divorce.

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About Julie Clark

Julie M. Clark graduated from the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. She has been practicing law in Riverside County since February of 1992. Julie Clark's Google+ Profile

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