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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Community Property


Term Definition Community Property - all income or property that was acquired during the marriage, with the exception of gifts or inheritances.
Application in Divorce In this routine, a husband and wife own their marital holdings in common, regardless of title, giving each spouse an undivided one-half interest in the whole asset. Each spouse has a claim to one-half the earnings of the other.

There are nine community property states. They are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. In these jurisdictions, property brought to the marriage stays with the party who acquired it. Some jurisdictions exclude property that comes to the marriage by gift or inheritances.

Alaska permits couples to elect community property status for divorce purposes.

Some states allow for equitable distribution when justice is served. Legal consul should be consulted because the rules on distribution vary from state to state and have many exceptions.

Community property and its distribution in a divorce is at sharp variance from a common law property distribution.

See also Equitable Division (Distribution) of Property, Separate Property, Kitchen Sink States, Dual Classification.

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