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California Family Code Section 2337

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2337.  (a) In a proceeding for dissolution of marriage, the court,
upon noticed motion, may sever and grant an early and separate trial
on the issue of the dissolution of the status of the marriage apart
from other issues.
   (b) A preliminary declaration of disclosure with a completed
schedule of assets and debts shall be served on the nonmoving party
with the noticed motion unless it has been served previously, or
unless the parties stipulate in writing to defer service of the
preliminary declaration of disclosure until a later time.
   (c) The court may impose upon a party any of the following
conditions on granting a severance of the issue of the dissolution of
the status of the marriage, and in case of that party's death, an
order of any of the following conditions continues to be binding upon
that party's estate:
   (1) The party shall indemnify and hold the other party harmless
from any taxes, reassessments, interest, and penalties payable by the
other party in connection with the division of the community estate
that would not have been payable if the parties were still married at
the time the division was made.
   (2) Until judgment has been entered on all remaining issues and
has become final, the party shall maintain all existing health and
medical insurance coverage for the other party and any minor children
as named dependents, so long as the party is eligible to do so. If
at any time during this period the party is not eligible to maintain
that coverage, the party shall, at the party's sole expense, provide
and maintain health and medical insurance coverage that is comparable
to the existing health and medical insurance coverage to the extent
it is available. To the extent that coverage is not available, the
party shall be responsible to pay, and shall demonstrate to the court'
s satisfaction the ability to pay, for the health and medical care
for the other party and the minor children, to the extent that care
would have been covered by the existing insurance coverage but for
the dissolution of marital status, and shall otherwise indemnify and
hold the other party harmless from any adverse consequences resulting
from the loss or reduction of the existing coverage. For purposes of
this subdivision, "health and medical insurance coverage" includes
any coverage for which the parties are eligible under any group or
individual health or other medical plan, fund, policy, or program.
   (3) Until judgment has been entered on all remaining issues and
has become final, the party shall indemnify and hold the other party
harmless from any adverse consequences to the other party if the
bifurcation results in a termination of the other party's right to a
probate homestead in the residence in which the other party resides
at the time the severance is granted.
   (4) Until judgment has been entered on all remaining issues and
has become final, the party shall indemnify and hold the other party
harmless from any adverse consequences to the other party if the
bifurcation results in the loss of the rights of the other party to a
probate family allowance as the surviving spouse of the party.
   (5) Until judgment has been entered on all remaining issues and
has become final, the party shall indemnify and hold the other party
harmless from any adverse consequences to the other party if the
bifurcation results in the loss of the other party's rights with
respect to any retirement, survivor, or deferred compensation
benefits under any plan, fund, or arrangement, or to any elections or
options associated therewith, to the extent that the other party
would have been entitled to those benefits or elections as the spouse
or surviving spouse of the party.
   (6) The party shall indemnify and hold the other party harmless
from any adverse consequences if the bifurcation results in the loss
of rights to social security benefits or elections to the extent the
other party would have been entitled to those benefits or elections
as the surviving spouse of the party.
   (7) (A) The court may make an order pursuant to paragraph (3) of
subdivision (b) of Section 5600 of the Probate Code, if appropriate,
that a party maintain a beneficiary designation for a nonprobate
transfer, as described in Section 5000 of the Probate Code, for a
spouse or domestic partner for up to one-half of or, upon a showing
of good cause, for all of a nonprobate transfer asset until judgment
has been entered with respect to the community ownership of that
asset, and until the other party's interest therein has been
distributed to him or her.
   (B) Except upon a showing of good cause, this paragraph does not
apply to any of the following:
   (i) A nonprobate transfer described in Section 5000 of the Probate
Code that was not created by either party or that was acquired by
either party by gift, descent, or devise.
   (ii) An irrevocable trust.
   (iii) A trust of which neither party is the grantor.
   (iv) Powers of appointment under a trust instrument that was not
created by either party or of which neither party is a grantor.
   (v) The execution and filing of a disclaimer pursuant to Part 8
(commencing with Section 260) of Division 2 of the Probate Code.
   (vi) The appointment of a party as a trustee.
   (8) In order to preserve the ability of the party to defer the
distribution of the Individual Retirement Account or annuity (IRA)
established under Section 408 or 408A of the Internal Revenue Code of
1986, as amended, (IRC) upon the death of the other party, the court
may require that one-half, or all upon a showing of good cause, of
the community interest in any IRA, by or for the benefit of the
party, be assigned and transferred to the other party pursuant to
Section 408(d)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code. This paragraph does
not limit the power granted pursuant to subdivision (g).
   (9) Upon a showing that circumstances exist that would place a
substantial burden of enforcement upon either party's community
property rights or would eliminate the ability of the surviving party
to enforce his or her community property rights if the other party
died before the division and distribution or compliance with any
court-ordered payment of any community property interest therein,
including, but not limited to, a situation in which preemption under
federal law applies to an asset of a party, or purchase by a bona
fide purchaser has occurred, the court may order a specific security
interest designed to reduce or eliminate the likelihood that a
postmortem enforcement proceeding would be ineffective or unduly
burdensome to the surviving party. For this purpose, those orders may
include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
   (A) An order that the party provide an undertaking.
   (B) An order to provide a security interest by Qualified Domestic
Relations Order from that party's share of a retirement plan or
plans.
   (C) An order for the creation of a trust as defined in paragraph
(2) of subdivision (a) of Section 82 of the Probate Code.
   (D) An order for other arrangements as may be reasonably necessary
and feasible to provide appropriate security in the event of the
party's death before judgment has been entered with respect to the
community ownership of that asset, and until the other party's
interest therein has been distributed to him or her.
   (E) If a retirement plan is not subject to an enforceable court
order for the payment of spousal survivor benefits to the other
party, an interim order requiring the party to pay or cause to be
paid, and to post adequate security for the payment of, any survivor
benefit that would have been payable to the other party on the death
of the party but for the judgment granting a dissolution of the
status of the marriage, pending entry of judgment on all remaining
issues.
   (10) Any other condition the court determines is just and
equitable.
   (d) Prior to, or simultaneously with, entry of judgment granting
dissolution of the status of the marriage, all of the following shall
occur:
   (1) The party's retirement or pension plan shall be joined as a
party to the proceeding for dissolution, unless joinder is precluded
or made unnecessary by Title 1 of the federal Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 (29 U.S.C. Sec. 1001 et seq.), as amended
(ERISA), or any other applicable law.
   (2) To preserve the claims of each spouse in all retirement plan
benefits upon entry of judgment granting a dissolution of the status
of the marriage, the court shall enter one of the following in
connection with the judgment for each retirement plan in which either
party is a participant:
   (A) An order pursuant to Section 2610 disposing of each party's
interest in retirement plan benefits, including survivor and death
benefits.
   (B) An interim order preserving the nonemployee party's right to
retirement plan benefits, including survivor and death benefits,
pending entry of judgment on all remaining issues.
   (C) An attachment to the judgment granting a dissolution of the
status of the marriage, as follows:


   EACH PARTY (insert names and addresses) IS PROVISIONALLY AWARDED
WITHOUT PREJUDICE AND SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENT BY A SUBSEQUENT DOMESTIC
RELATIONS ORDER, A SEPARATE INTEREST EQUAL TO ONE-HALF OF ALL
BENEFITS ACCRUED OR TO BE ACCRUED UNDER THE PLAN (name each plan
individually) AS A RESULT OF EMPLOYMENT OF THE OTHER PARTY DURING THE
MARRIAGE OR DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP AND PRIOR TO THE DATE OF
SEPARATION. IN ADDITION, PENDING FURTHER NOTICE, THE PLAN SHALL, AS
ALLOWED BY LAW, OR IN THE CASE OF A GOVERNMENTAL PLAN, AS ALLOWED BY
THE TERMS OF THE PLAN, CONTINUE TO TREAT THE PARTIES AS MARRIED OR
DOMESTIC PARTNERS FOR PURPOSES OF ANY SURVIVOR RIGHTS OR BENEFITS
AVAILABLE UNDER THE PLAN TO THE EXTENT NECESSARY TO PROVIDE FOR
PAYMENT OF AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THAT SEPARATE INTEREST OR FOR ALL OF
THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT IF AT THE TIME OF THE DEATH OF THE PARTICIPANT,
THERE IS NO OTHER ELIGIBLE RECIPIENT OF THE SURVIVOR BENEFIT.


   (e) The moving party shall promptly serve a copy of any order,
interim order, or attachment entered pursuant to paragraph (2) of
subdivision (d), and a copy of the judgment granting a dissolution of
the status of the marriage, on the retirement or pension plan
administrator.
   (f) A judgment granting a dissolution of the status of the
marriage shall expressly reserve jurisdiction for later determination
of all other pending issues.
   (g) If the party dies after the entry of judgment granting a
dissolution of marriage, any obligation imposed by this section shall
be enforceable against any asset, including the proceeds thereof,
against which these obligations would have been enforceable prior to
the person's death.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014