Property and Debt Division

California Property and Debt Division Cheat Sheet

When and why

When: When you and your spouse are ready to delve into the “nitty-gritty” and divide your assets and debts. You can use this spreadsheet for everything from weighing your options to negotiating with your spouse (or their lawyer) to attaching it to your final agreement.

Why: You can’t split every asset or debt (nor would you want to) equally. This spreadsheet allows you to enter in all of your property and debt (separate and joint!) and assign it to the spouse who wants it. Once you’ve accounted for everything you both own, you will know who is receiving more money. You can then determine if either party owes the other a sum to equalize the division.

How to use this template


CP: Community property, also referred to as marital property in some states. All property and debt acquired during the marriage and before separation is usually deemed community property unless one spouse acquired it through gift or inheritance.

SP: Separate property is all property and debt acquired before marriage and/or after separation AND all property acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance.

H: Husband*

W: Wife*


Column A: Numbered for your convenience. Nothing to do here.

Column B: Enter the description of the asset, debt, or reimbursement.

Column C: Enter the value of a CP (joint) asset or debt. If it’s a negative number, indicate it with a “-“ sign. If one party is owed a reimbursement on a CP asset (for example, they made a house down payment with SP funds), enter it in Column C with a “-“ sign. Note: If the asset or debt is the SP of one spouse, do not enter it here.

Column D: If the husband owns an asset or debt as SP, enter it here.

Column E: If the wife owns the asset or debt as SP, enter it here.

Column F: If the husband will receive this CP asset or debt, enter it here. If it is a negative value (e.g. mortgage balance), indicate it with a “-“ sign.

Column G: If an asset or debt is the husband’s SP (per Column D), enter it here.

Column H: If the wife will receive this CP asset or debt, enter it here. If it is a negative value (e.g., mortgage balance), indicate it with a “-“ sign.

Column I: If an asset or debt is the wife’s SP (per Column E), enter it here.

Column J: This is a notes section. Enter anything you want that is helpful (e.g., how you arrived at a particular value, the source of an SP asset).

At the bottom of the spreadsheet, you’ll learn the total value of all CP (assets and debts) and the amount necessary to “equalize” you or your spouse.

*Feel free to swap titles like “husband” or “wife” to any abbreviations you prefer.

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Many people choose to leave retirement accounts out of this template. It’s difficult to determine the CP value of a retirement account if contributions were made before marriage or after separation. You may ask an actuary to value the CP interest. Or, you and your spouse may arrive at an approximate value that’s agreeable.

Another option is to divide and equalize the retirement accounts separately. In that case, you would use a separate order called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and your financial institution(s) would do the math for you. If performed correctly, there will be no tax consequences to either of you!

The Hello Divorce team is standing by to help you.

Also, check out this checklist — it includes all the terms that you and your spouse will need to come to an agreement on to get divorced.

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