Property and Debt are addressed differently in each state.  In California we have community property laws as well as laws regarding debt acquired during the marriage, both of which impact Divorce.   There are 3 types of properties that are determined by the courts in a divorce or legal separation matter.

  1. The court can determine property to be separate property in most cases, if the property was purchased before marriage or after separation or if the property was a gift from one party to another or if the property was inherited by either of the parties.
  2. Community property is usually determined as property that is acquired during the marriage and before separation or if the property is held in joint names of the husband and wife.
  3. Quasi community property is generally property that is acquired outside the state of California, but had the property been acquired in California, it would have been community property.

The court considers a home, a condo, bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement plans etc. as property. Debt is not property but is addressed in the divorce. The determination as to whether the debt is community debt or not is based on when it was acquired. Generally, debt that is acquired during the marriage, from the date of marriage to the date of separation, is considered communal debt and as such can be divided.  This means that even though debt was acquired by only one partner, it can still be considered community debt if it was acquired during the marriage.

It is most important to understand the division of property and debt in a divorce as failure to do so could result in the rejection of paperwork or subsequent law suits.  It’s always best to consult with a California divorce or family law attorney so you understand your legal rights and your options with regard to the division of property and debt.

For more information, call Legal Action Workshop–THE LAW FIRM THAT OFFERS LOW FLAT FEES!  We can be reached at 800-HELP-444 (800-435-7444) or visit our website at .

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