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What is community property in California? What am I entitled to receive in divorce?

Question: What assets am I entitled to receive in divorce?

Answer: The short answer is that each spouse is entitled to receive one-half of the community property.

Community property is all property, real or personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the marriage while domiciled in California, absent a valid premarital (prenuptial) and/or postmarital (postnuptial) agreement between the spouses.

Please see California Family Code Section 760.


Community property may include: real property (house, condo, land, building, etc.), vehicles (car, motorcycle, boat, plane, etc.), furniture, art, coins, jewelry, antiques, bank accounts, cash, security deposits, pension plans, 401(k) plans, stocks, bonds, life insurance that has cash value, business, royalties, patents, etc.

Community property also includes all the earnings that either spouse earned/saved during the marriage and everything bought with those earnings.

In addition to the earnings and the assets, community property includes all financial obligations/debts (credit cards, promissory notes, loans, etc.) accumulated during the marriage. It does not matter if a credit card was under Wife’s name or under Husband’s name; both spouses are responsible for paying this credit card off.

In California each spouse is entitled for one-half of the community property and is responsible for one-half of the debts.

Separate property of a married person includes:

  1. All property owned by the person before marriage.
  2. All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent.
  3. The rents, issues, and profits of the property described above.
  4. All property bought with separate property.

Please see California Family Code Sections 770-772.


Separate property is also anything that either spouse acquires after the date of separation, including the earnings and debts.

In California each spouse is entitled for 100% of his/her separate property.


DISCLAIMER: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer/law firm publisher for educational purposes ONLY as well as to give you general information, not to provide specific legal advice. This article should not be taken in any way as legal advice on your specific legal matter.

Please contact me at 619-737-3919 to schedule a 30-minute initial complimentary consultation to discuss your personal situation.

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Ms. Rogova, who is bilingual English-Russian, earned her law degrees from American and Russian universities. She earned her Russian law degree in 2003 and practiced law in Russia for over 7 years. Ms. Rogova has a broad range of legal experience in Russia such as contract litigation, corporate law, arbitration, real estate, and labor law. In addition to her law degree, in 2007 Ms. Rogova earned a Master of Finance degree.

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