Is California a Community Property State?

House and Scales of Justice on wood table.

When it comes to divorce, some states are known as “community property states.” This phrase is utilized when referring to property division during a divorce. But what does that mean? And is California one of them? can help explain.

Defining Community Property

Community property states require all assets and debts acquired during the marriage to be divided evenly between the divorcing spouses. This includes both physical property (like homes, cars, furniture, etc.) and intangible property (like savings accounts, retirement accounts, investments, etc.).

Within this, there is also separate property to keep in mind. Separate property is any asset owned before the marriage or given specifically to the spouse. Typically, this property is not divided during divorce because it belongs to one spouse.

The U.S. has nine community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. So yes, California is a community property state.

Community Property During Divorce

If you live in a community property state and are getting divorced, it’s important to understand how your assets will be divided. This is done by assessing each asset's value, whether physical or intangible, and ascertaining the total. After that is completed, the property is divided accordingly.

One stipulation to this is if there is a prenuptial agreement in place. A prenuptial agreement may dictate that one asset, even if considered community property, belongs to the spouse, as indicated in the agreement.

Attorneys Who Can Help During Property Division

An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the property division process and ensure that your interests are protected. It is possible to encounter challenges and difficulties, so it is important to have an advocate on your side. The team at Bez Law Firm, P.C. is prepared to help during asset division.

Need assistance during property division? Contact us at (916) 512-8944 for a consultation.

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