In a California divorce, California’s community property laws are used to determine how the couple’s assets and debts will be divided. If you and your spouse do not have an agreement providing otherwise, all property acquired during marriage is treated as community property.
According to California law community property is defined as “all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in this state.” This means that all property acquired during the marriage is community property, including income earned and debts acquired by either spouse from the beginning of the marriage until the date of separation.
Although California is a community property state this doesn’t mean that there is no such thing as separate property or that separate property is converted upon marriage. Separate property is property owned before marriage or acquired during marriage by gift, will, or inheritance. This includes any rents, profits, income, sales proceeds, dividends or interest generated by a separate property asset. Generally speaking, separate property is not divided in divorce. Instead it is awarded to the spouse who received/acquired/owns the separate property.
Quasi-community property is property acquired during a marriage located in a state that does not recognize community property. Once the married couple moves to California, it is considered community property and labeled quasi-community property. Quasi-community property is treated just like community property if the couple divorces.
The laws of community property states can be very complicated and confusing. With the help of an experienced divorce and family law attorney you can clearly figure out what will be divided and labeled as “community property” in your divorce.
Thorsteinson Law Group can help you determine how the law affects your property in a divorce. Contact Thorsteinson Law Group now to gain a better understanding of your property’s classification in California.