California is a Community Property State

  • In California, all property acquired during marriage is Community Property.
  • Property acquired before marriage or after permanent separation, or by gift or inheritance, is Separate Property.

So what, if the property is a “Community Property”

In California if the property is a ‘Community Property’ then during the divorce

  • Each community property item will be distributed equally between both spouses.
  • Half of each spouse’s income received during the marriage will be shared in half.
  • Debts incurred during marriage are divided equally between the spouses.

And what if the property is a “Separate Property”

If the property is separate property then the property holder

  • Can keep the 100% with you or spend it during your life.
  • Can bequeath 100% to anybody you want.
  • Won’t be divided with the other spouse during divorce

Sample Community / Separate Properties

Common Examples of Separate Properties

    • Anything owned before the marriage
    • The interest or capital gain in the separate property
    • The property acquired by using the separate property
    • Gift received by one spouse before or during the marriage
    • Inheritances received before or during the marriage
    • Certain personal injury awards

Common Examples of Community Properties

    • Salary received during the marriage
    • Anything acquired by using the community property
    • Separate property mixed up with community property
    • Any gain on the community property
    • Investment return on the community property
    • Retirement benefits earned during marriage

Contact Law Office of Gopal Krishan / Allied Legal to get more help. We have a great skills, and vast experience and a very good success rate to identify and discovery of properties. We can help you even if the property is located in a foreign country.

Change of Nature of Property

Separate Property > Community Property

  • There is no Presumption for Separate Property. So if the separate property is mixed up with the community property it will become the Community Property.
  • If you use the separate property for the benefit of community ( Family ),  it will become community property.
  • The separate property can also be changed in to community property by the agreement.

Community Property > Separate Property

  • Before Marriage – By the written prenuptial agreement
  • After Marriage – By the Written Transmutation Agreement

There is NO automatic conversion of Community Property into Separate Property even if the title of property is in only one spouse’s name.

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