When going through divorce, you likely have questions about your assets. After all, most people feel the biggest concern regarding asset division.
How do you know what property you get to keep? What sort of property is up for division?
As The Business Professor explains, community and separate properties encompass all of a person’s assets. Community property includes the assets that get divided, while separate property includes assets that each person keeps.
When looking at separate property, this often includes things like the assets you owned before marriage, any gifts given directly to you during the marriage, and inheritance you may have come into during the length of the marriage itself.
On the other hand, community property typically includes anything that you and your spouse signed on together, anything you purchased with a joint account, or anything that you pooled your money together to buy. Examples typically include the family home, car, or land parcels you own.
It is also important to note that separate property does not always stay separate. For example, if you gifted an heirloom piece of jewelry that you inherited to your significant other, chances are they will get to keep it even though it started out as an inheritance.
Likewise, if you deposit money that you had before the marriage into a jointly owned bank account, this becomes joint property and thus counts as community property which is subject to the same divisions.
Understanding how these divisions work can help you enter the asset division aspect of divorce with less stress.