California Divorce Community Property vs Separate Property

When you file for divorce in California, issues regarding community and separate property will arise. California is one of nine states with community property laws. Such laws dictate how community property is divided upon filing for divorce. Understanding how California divides community property vs separate property is important in protecting your property interests. Read on to learn more.

What is California Community Property?

California community property includes all assets and debts acquired during marriage. This includes real or personal property, retirement accounts, timeshares, vehicles, business interests, and life insurance. California family law requires community property to be divided equally between spouses upon divorce.

Quasi-community property refers to property acquired in another state before the couple’s move to California. Quasi-community property is often treated as community property during a divorce.

What is California Separate Property?

Separate property refers to assets and debts acquired before marriage or after the date of legal separation. It also includes any property that was provided as a gift or through inheritance to a spouse. A spouse will own one-half interest in community property assets (including income) provided it does not come from separate property.

Legal Date of Separation

The date of separation is used to determine community property interests. The date of separation is the date in which one spouse demonstrates that the marriage is over. There are no standard factors the court uses to determine the date of separation. Usually, a spouse may tell the other spouse that he/she no longer seeks to continue in the marriage. Contact San Diego Esquire if you need assistance with determining the date of separation in your marriage.

How to Divide Community Property

Both spouses are treated as equal co-owners under California community property laws. The California Family Law code requires each spouse to receive half of their community property share upon divorce. Property is usually divided “in kind” or in accordance with a fair and equitable agreement.

SD Esquire Online Divorce Course

SD Esquire provides flat fee uncontested divorce services to pro se litigants. We will prepare the legal documents you need to file for and complete your divorce.  Our attorney will serve as a third-party neutral mediator. Our flat fee legal document preparation services start at $495 for Summary Dissolution and $695 for standard divorce.

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