Community vs. separate property in a California divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2022 | divorce | 0 comments

Divorcing can be emotional and messy. Along with having to deal with the emotional and mental toll a divorce can take, you have to divide the life you once shared. While this can be difficult, knowing your rights and what you have the rights to is important. 

One of the most important things to understand during property division in a divorce is the difference between the community and separate property

Separate property

Separate property (as the name implies) are things you owned before getting married. It also includes certain earnings you received during your marriage and property that was purchased with these separate funds. Inheritances and gifts one spouse received during the marriage are also considered separate property, so long as they were not commingled with marital property in any way.

Community property

Community property is what both spouses earned or debts you took out after your marriage but before you decided to separate. In this case, the property or debts belongs to both people equally. Essentially anything you earned during your marriage, including wages, retirement plans and more, is community property. This also applies to debts acquired during the marriage. 

The problem with property division

Unfortunately, when it comes to property division, it’s often a contentious part of a divorce. After all, both people usually want to have as much as possible when leaving the relationship. Also, there are issues that may make it difficult to know what items are: community property or separate property. 

In these cases, having someone helping you with these important determinations is invaluable and can help you receive a fair settlement in your divorce.