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Understanding the 3 kinds of California property

We represent many clients in their divorces here at TRABOLSI | LEVY | GABBARD LLP, so we well understand that California property laws can be confusing to a lot of people. We therefore thought it would be a good idea to review California’s three kinds of property here on our blog.

When you and your spouse or partner divorce, the California Court system explains that you need to consider the following three types of property when coming to a property settlement agreement:

  • Community property
  • Separate property
  • Quasi-community property

1. Community property

You and your spouse’s or partner’s community property consists of everything the two of you have acquired and accumulated during your marriage or registered domestic partnership. Regardless of which of you actually acquired, paid for or earned this property, the law says it belongs to you both equally. So do any money that either of you earned and any debts either of you assumed during the relationship.

2. Separate property

Your respective separate property, however, belongs to each of you solely. This is the property either of you owned prior to your marriage or before you entered into your registered domestic partnership. Separate property also includes things such as gifts and inheritances that you and (s)he received in your own name during your relationship.

3. Quasi-community property

While the things that make up your community and separate property are easy to understand, determining what, if any, quasi-community property you and your spouse or partner own becomes more complicated and depends on the time you acquired the property and under what circumstances. What might have been separate property in some circumstances becomes quasi-community property in others.

For instance, assume you owned a house before you got married or entered into your registered domestic partnership. Also assume that your house had a mortgage which you continued to pay down after your marriage or registered domestic partnership began. In all likelihood, the house’s increase in value during your relationship amounts to quasi-community property.

For more information, please visit this page of our website. 


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