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Community Property Division After a Divorce

Issues concerning division of community property can arise in a divorce case, or after the death of a spouse. In the case of divorce or death, spouses are left with the task of splitting up property and assets that were acquired during the marriage.

What is Community Property?

Any property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses. Community property refers to all property acquired during marriage by the efforts and skills of either or both spouses. Any property which is not Community property, is referred to as Separate property, which is owned by only one spouse.

Community property laws are in place in most states to govern the division of community property. Examples of community property may include earnings of the spouses during the marriage, any home or furniture purchased during the marriage, interest income earned by business investments and operations during marriage, as well as any mortgages and the family home.

A property may be defined as “partial” or “quasi” community property by the Court. These are properties which were initially defined as separate, but during the course of the marriage, they became marital property because of co-mingling.

Factors that determine Division of Community Property

A number of factors may be determined by the court in order to divide any property that is acquired during the marriage. These include:

  • The earning capacity of each spouse
  • Which parent is the legal caretaker of the children
  • If any fault grounds exist, such as cruelty or adultery

Depending on these factors, community property may not be divided 50/50. The court will then look at other factors to come up with a disproportionate division of community property such as:

  • If fault grounds for divorce were present
  • If one spouse would suffer loss of compensation or continuing benefit which they would have received if they had continued with the marriage
  • If gaps exist between incomes and earning capabilities, which may affect the division of property
  • The health and physical condition of each spouse
  • The age difference between spouses and their ability to continue working after divorce
  • The size of the estate
  • If one of the spouses stands to receive a large inheritance
  • If a spouse will gain primary custody of a child under 18 years after divorce

Dividing Community Property

In most community property states, the community property has to be divided equally among the spouses. This means that the distribution of assets has to be equal or nearly equal, after determining the total value of the community property.

Most community property states allow the court to make an equitable division of community property, so that property is distributed fairly between both spouses. The factors listed above determine how the community property is to be divided in a divorce.

Get Legal Help

Getting legal help is important if you are going through a divorce. An attorney will explain to you what happens to marital or separate property in a divorce case. Contact the Cantor divorce lawyers at (602) 254-8880 for a Free Initial Consultation and learn about the laws that apply to your specific situation.

Author Bio:

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer in Oakland & San Francisco, CA, Attorney Michael Padway. Been in a motorcycle Accident, call (888) 373-5595 FREE Initial Consultation.

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