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Community property in a California divorce

When two Californians marry, they may look forward to the combining of their lives and the mixing of their wealth and assets. Some individuals feel more comfortable when they are able to share their assets and burdens with another person; the ability to own property jointly with one's spouse is a benefit that married people can enjoy.

However, just as marriage is a means of combining property interests between two people, divorce is a means of separating the wealth, debts, and assets that two people have amassed during their lives. Different states look at property in different ways and, in California, property divisions generally follow community property laws. Items of property are considered community property if they were acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage.

Wages may be considered community property if they were earned during a marriage, and items of real and personal property may also be considered community if they were acquired once a marriage was completed. Items of separate property which are not subject to division during a divorce may include, but are not limited to: items acquired prior to marriage, inheritances acquired by only one of the spouses, and earnings and acquisitions gained after the spouses have separated from each other.

Since so much of what a couple acquires will be considered community property, it can be daunting for Californians to approach the property division process with confidence. However, individuals who require support with this and other divorce-related topics may choose to use the services of family law attorneys to guide them through their property, custody, support, and other divorce needs.

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