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Basic Tracing Overview

How is Tracing Used in Family Law?

Tracing may be used to characterize bank or brokerage accounts. It may also be used to trace separate funds used to purchase an asset that is titled in joint names. Tracing is also used relative to certain reimbursements to the separate property of one spouse or to the community.

There are three ways that tracing can be accomplished:

  • Direct tracing (mechanic)
  • Family expense, recapitulation
  • Other non-speculative methods

Additionally, tracing may be used to trace personal injury proceeds deposited in joint accounts and this tracing may have more relaxed tracing requirements for equitable reasons.

Illustration showing an example of Direct Tracing