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  • Writer's pictureJames Chau

California Community Property Comparisons

Every state has a different set of divorce laws about distributing assets between the Petitioner and Respondent. I’ve found an article that briefly covers community property and equitable property.

California along with several other states is a community property state. In community property states, all income and debts accumulated during the marriage are considered community property. Community property is owned by both spouses. At the time of divorce, community property is divided equally between the parties and includes the portion of retirement accounts that accrued during marriage, and all property acquired during the marriage. Another type of property, separate property or premarital property and gifts to a spouse are considered to be separate property and stays with the spouse who received the gift if the couple divorce.

In non community property states, the court is empowered to divide the property up as it deems equitably. Divorce in the other states generally falls under equitable property, where all property is divided on equitable principles, such as length of the marriage, opportunity for future acquisition, earnings potential, etc. For equitable property states, the Court have the discretion to do what it decides is fair.

The interesting thing is that when comparing the divorce rates among equitably property and community property states. States with the lowest divorce rates seem to all be equitable distribution states. Why community property states have higher divorce rates, and why do equitable distribution states tend to have lower divorce rates? One reason given by the article is “transaction costs”. If divorces are easy, then they become more frequent.

Community property laws and the no fault divorce was meant to make Californians not have to prove the reasons for the divorce or the fault of the marriage falling apart. Supposedy the article states, the higher the difficulty of getting out of a divorce may make people less likely to want to seek a divorce.

Some people choose to have a prenuptial agreement made, but the author of this article believes that this can put people on the path to divorce because it weakens the marriage from the very beginning.

If there are any legal questions you may have, I encourage you to, please contact my San Jose Divorce Lawyers office. My San Jose Family Lawyer offices assists many people who are going through family law related issues. We have many Affordable San Jose Divorce Lawyer solutions for many different budgets. We help many individuals through this very chaotic period in their life. Proudly serving the following cities, Fremont, Milpitas, Los Gatos, Cupertino, Mountain View, and Santa Clara.

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