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Divorce and Community Property

By Julianne Nick Subscribe to RSS | April 28th 2012 | Views:

The term community property regards to the marital property between a couple that has been built up during the course of a marriage. The jurisdictions and laws for both common law and married couples are easily found online with some basic web searches. If you are in a community property state, the property that is acquired during that marriage with the exceptions of gifts or inheritances are considered community property.

How are community property and the debts divided during a divorce? Many times the couples are asked first how they want things divided. If they are splitting amicably, they may already have a list of whom gets what, that they have already agreed to. If not, then an attorney will be able in helping get the properties and debts divided as equally as possible. There are times that the property cannot be agreed on and then is taken to the court system to be determined.

In the states of Arizona, Alaska, Idaho, California, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin and Puerto Rico, all the property of married people is classed as equally owned by both, or separate property of one or the other spouse. During a community property, divorce the property is divided between the two and property that is considered to be separate is kept by the spouse it belongs to. In some states such as California which is a 50/50 state. Property is divided as equally as possible. When the property is acquired prior to the marriage, it will be kept by the person that owns it.

Community property is one of the primary things in a divorce that splits up the assets of the divorcing couple. These are things that the couple has acquired during the time of the marriage. The different properties that could be divided are things like homes, the items within the home, credit card debts, mortgages, loans of various kinds. The joint bank accounts and a long list of others can all be split and depending on the state community property laws they are split between the couple. There are cases that the laws can have a catastrophic effect when one of the spouses is forced to share some valuable asset, that they thought was separate.

There is one thing that is necessary to do is close all bank accounts, and cancel credit cards in both names. When a person has, for example, has put a down payment on a home before getting married, and then pays off the balance of the mortgage with monies gotten during the marriage. That spouse would be entitled to receive the down payment back separate from the community property division of properties and assets. There can be problems when there is a divorce and before the proceedings are disputed one of the spouses dies. These disputes can often be avoided by taking the proper estate planning during the marriage. Divorce has many different aspects to it, community property and the division of them is only one portion, but it is a crucial one.

Julianne Nick - About Author:
"Divorce and Community Property" is an article of StateDivorce, a database of San Bernardino lawyers.

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