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  • Candence Gettys

California Community Property 101

California is a community property state. All assets and debts acquired during a marriage or domestic partnership are presumed to be community property. Property is anything that can be bought or sold, like: a house, cars, furniture or clothing. Property is also anything that has value like: bank accounts and cash, pension plans, 401(k) plans, stocks, life insurance with cash value, or a business.

Community property also includes all the earnings that either spouse or partner (or both) earned during the marriage and everything bought with those earnings. All financial obligations (debts) accumulated during a marriage or domestic partnership are community property. This is true even if one spouse or partner acquired the debt or if only one spouse or partner is named on the acount.

In California, each spouse or partner owns one-half of the community property estate. Community property assets and liabilities are divided equally in a legal proceeding for Dissolution of Marriage or Domestic Partnership.

There are some exceptions to the rule. An experienced attorney can help you understand the complexities of California community property laws.

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