First, have a clear understanding of your reasons for wanting to partition your community estate and the benefits and disadvantages of doing so. Usually, there will have been some precipitating event or series of events that have brought a couple to this situation so it should not be a complete surprise to your spouse. If you are in marriage counseling consider bringing it up during a counseling session. If you and your spouse have been discussing difficult marital issues, you can mention it as a step toward resolving those issues.

It can be beneficial to not have to worry about your financial future at a time of marital stress. After the partition agreement has been signed you will each know what the future holds if the marriage ends. That security may allow you more freedom to work creatively on saving your marriage, rather than worrying about what could happen if the marriage ends and whether you should strategically take the first step toward a divorce.

When you fully understand why a partition agreement might be appropriate, choose the best time and place to speak to your spouse in a calm and mature manner. It may take several conversations before you can actually discuss the details. Discuss each spouse’s concerns about the future, what his and her true interests and fears are, and the best way to partition the community estate to try to address each of those concerns. Depending on the complexity of the estate you may need to seek the assistance of an attorney in resolving the details.