Marital vs. Separate Property in California

A man in a suit dividing some blocks in half

Determining What Belongs to Whom

When it comes to dividing property in a divorce, California is a community property state. This means that all assets and debts acquired during the marriage are considered jointly owned by both spouses. However, this may not always be the case. In this blog, we will discuss the differences between marital and separate property in California.

Community Property vs. Separate Property

Community property (or marital property) states consider all assets and debts acquired during the marriage to be jointly owned by both spouses. This means that these assets will be divided evenly between the two parties in the event of a divorce. However, there are some exceptions to this rule.

Assets that were acquired before the marriage or after the date of separation are considered separate property and do not face division in a divorce. Additionally, gifts or inheritances that were given to one spouse during the marriage are also considered separate property.

Exceptions to the Rule

There are instances, however, where separate property may be considered community property. This can happen if the separate property is commingled with community property. For example, if you inherit a house from your parents and then put your spouse’s name on the deed, it may be considered community property in a divorce. Similarly, if you use joint funds to pay for improvements on the property, it may also be subject to division.

Ask Questions of a California Divorce Attorney

If you are going through a divorce in California, it is important to understand the difference between marital and separate property. An experienced family law attorney can help you protect your assets and ensure that you receive a fair share of the community property.
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