One of the main components of divorce is figuring out what is considered community property and what is considered separate property. Often in a divorce, former spouses cannot agree on how to split up the property they previously shared, which is why courts are there to help divide it as equally and evenly as possible, or pertaining to the specifics of the case.
But what, exactly, is community property? And how is it different from separate property?
Community property tends to be categorized as any property that was obtained during marriage with both spouses help or effort. This property tends to be shared between the two in some type of way. The most obvious example of communal property is earnings or wages obtained during the marriage. In California, this also means if you put effort into some form of “property”, even if it didn’t necessarily mean you gained wages or earnings from your effort. This was put in place for marriages where one spouse worked and another stayed at home and pertained to domestic duties. If there was effort anywhere regarding a form of property in marriage, this means it is community property because it is shared and had help or substance from both spouses.
So, what is separate property then? Separate property is property that was obtained either before the marriage or without the other spouses time, effort, or work. Great examples of separate property are inheritances or gifts. These gifts or inheritances can be obtained either before, during, or after the marriage — they almost always are considered separate property.
Any income or earnings you earn from an owned business or property is also considered separate property — unless your spouse contributed to this business in any way. However, some situations pertaining to your own divorce proceedings may not be as clear cut. That’s why it’s important to talk to your attorneys and discuss every aspect of community and separate property.
Now, it can be very difficult to understand if your spouse did or did not actually put effort or work towards any type of property — and this more than ever is becoming an issue during divorce proceedings. Sometimes situations are clear cut and easy to understand, other times they’re not. However, learning the basics of community and separate property is always a good idea if you’re heading for divorce.
Farbod Majd Esq.
Divorce Attorney w/ offices in Beverly Hills/Los Angeles
Services in English, Turkish, and Farsi/Persian (Iranian/American Lawyer)
8383 Wilshire Blvd Suite 646, Beverly Hills, CA 90211
310.956.4600 | Fax: 310.878.8989 | [email protected]