Community Property vs. Separate Property In A Divorce  

       When it comes to a divorce, it is very difficult for both the parties concerned to decide on dividing the property. However, different states in the US have different laws that oversee the division of property and assets during a divorce. This means that whatever you get during your divorce will complete depend on the laws of the state you are processing the divorce in.

         Usually when it comes to property, it can be divided into two categories, namely community and personal property. Community property refers to all the assets that the spouses have managed to get while they were married. This property can include items like furniture, cars, artwork, and even income that was earned while you were married.

         On the other hand, personal property refers to all the assets and items you had before you got married. Inheritance comes under this type of property and so also any property or income you get while you were separated from your spouse.

         However, often it is very difficult to distinguish between personal and community property as both tend to get mixed up during marriage. This process of getting the property mixed up is known as commingling. A good example of commingling is that you had a savings account with a lot of money before your marriage. Once you get married, you open a joint checking account and transfer some of the money from your savings account into this. Now both you and your spouse use this money and the account for deposits as well as withdrawal. In case you and your spouse divorce, it will be very difficult to separate your original deposit from your savings account from the balance in your joint checking account. Therefore, the entire amount in the joint checking account will be taken as community property when the divorce is being processed.

         However, you can avoid problems like this by ensuring that you keep documented evidence of everything. This means that any money from the personal property that is used by you and your spouse should have documented evidence like deposit receipts or slips. These can then be used to trace the origin of the funds.

         Just like assets, even debt is divided into community property and personal property. So, if you and your spouse have opened a joint credit card account, it will be taken as community property and both of you would be responsible to make the payments. However, any debts you had before marriage or have managed to collect during the legal separation will be taken as personal property. So, you will be solely responsible for the payment of these debts.

        The same logic is also applied to future income that comes from investments and retirement plans. This means that if you have a nice nest egg in your 401k retirement plan, you spouse will be entitled to part of it because it will be viewed as community property.

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Community Property vs. Separate Property In A Divorce
 

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