Excluded Assets

Community Property

Separate Property

Commingling of Assets

Community Property and Assets Not Included In The Marital Estate

When a couple decides to end their marriage, one of the key negotiating elements to the dissolution involves what is community property and what is separate property. How gets what? How is it decided? Is it all negotiation, or is it decided by the court?

In the state of California, ownership of marital property (or assets) is determined by how that property is characterized. Is it community property? Or separate property?

Equal Justice Law Group and attorney David Foyil are experts at helping clients get the best property settlement possible. As you'll see below, “who gets what” depends largely on when the assets were acquired and how they were treated after acquisition.

Contact Equal Justice Law Group today. With offices in Sacramento, Sutter Creek and Placerville, we're nearby and ready to serve you.

And as always, your case evaluation and initial consultation are both confidential and absolutely free.

Community Property

Because California is a community property state, this means that with the dissolution of any marriage, all property acquired during that marriage will be divided equally between the spouses.

It's that simple: anything you got during your marriage must be split 50/50 with your spouse upon divorce.

Separate Property

Not everything is community property, however. Anything you acquired prior to your marriage; or property acquired during your marriage by way of inheritance or gift; and of course, any property acquired subsequent to a legal separation is YOURS.

BONUS CONTENT: Disposing of a House in a Divorce

Commingling of Assets

Characterizing an asset as “community” or “separate” isn't as valid in court as what happened to those assets after acquisition. Here's an example.

You inherit $10,000 while married, and deposit that money in a joint checking account shared with your spouse. It's the same account that you use to pay regular monthly bills and other shared responsibilities. Courts may likely find that this money was intended to be placed into community property. Thus, the court may find that your $10,000 must be split with your spouse, as a result of your actions. In short, you commingled the asset with your spouse.

Here's an alternative scenario. That same $10,000 is placed into an account that is only in your name, to which your spouse has no access. We would argue that you always intended to keep this money as separate property, not community property, as a result of your actions.

Get answers to your property settlement questions. Contact Equal Justice Law Group today for a private consultation.


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