Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX X'm a litigation attorney. Thanks for your question, but I am sorry for your situation. I know this is weighing on you emotionally and physically.
Given your set of facts, a legal separation would be the best thing because you can divide property ASAP instead of going through a protracted divorce, which includes a 6 month waiting period before the divorce is final.
In California, a divorce court loses jurisdiction over the marital estate if one spouse dies after filing for divorce. If that happens, the probate court takes over to determine what becomes of marital property.
Thus, if you were to pass away before the divorce were final, then your spouse would have a right to inherit form you, divide the marital assets through probate court, etc.
So, if you can do a legal separation and do a property settlement, that's definitely the best process that you could take.
California community property law considers retirement benefits earned during a marriage as an asset of the marriage that may be divided upon legal separation or dissolution of a marriage. Because the divorce would occur while benefits are being paid, the court will likely divide the Calpers benefits under the "time rule".
Basically, under this rule, the court uses a formula to apportion between divorcing spouses of retirement benefits. A percentage is determined based on the ratio between the time that a member spouse was enrolled in a defined benefit plan during the marriage and the total time that the person was enrolled in the
Here's how the formula usually works:
"1/2 x (Member's system credit accumulated from date of marriage / members total system service credit at time benefits become payable) x (Member's benefit at time benefits become payable) = (Non-member spouse's share of system benefits)"
Here's a good link where this formula came from. It also has some good information and a good link to a decision that outlines this as well: http://bravewebermack.wordpress.com/2010/02/25/making-sense-of-california%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Ctime-rule%E2%80%9D-to-divide-pensions/
As for the truck, if the title is still in your husband's name, then he still legally has an ownership interest in the vehicle. The bankruptcy just canceled his obligation to pay the debt back to the lender. But, if the lender hasn't taken the vehicle, it may never do so. However, I don't think you can get the title unless you get your husband to sign it over even if the loan has expired after being discharged.
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