The first step is to identify all your property and to figure out what’s in the pool and what’s outside of the pool. Anything inside the pool is community property to be split evenly and if there are items outside the pool, those will be kept by the owner as separate property.
Community property. All property that you and your spouse acquired through labor or skill
during the marriage is, at least in part, community property. Each spouse owns half of the community property. This is true even if only one spouse worked outside of the home during the marriage-and even if the property is in only one spouse’s name. With few exceptions, debts incurred during the marriage are community debts as well. This includes credit card bills, even if the card is in your name only. Student loans are an exception and are considered separate property debts unless the loans were obtained more than 10 years before the beginning of the divorce. Community property possessions and debts are divided equally unless you and your spouse agree to an unequal division-or unless there are more debts than assets.
Separate property. Separate property is property acquired before your marriage, including
rents or profits received from these items; property received after the date of your separation
with your separate earnings; inheritances that were received either before or during the
marriage; and gifts to you alone, not you and your spouse. Separate property is not divided
during dissolution. If you have separate property that has been mixed with community property, it can be difficult to untangle, however you are still entitled to receive your separate property back even if it has been mixed. There are complex tracing requirements where property has been mixed. Debts incurred before your marriage or after your separation are considered your separate property debts as well.