Community Property and Premarital Agreements

Community vs. Separate Property

Once a couple marries, all property acquired during marriage is considered community property unless otherwise specified by an agreement in writing, a decree of separation or divorce. A husband and wife have equal interests in community property. If the husband works and buys a property with his income, the property belongs to both parties equally.

Separate property is property owned by a spouse before marriage and property acquired by the spouse after marriage by gift or inheritance. The pain and suffering and suffering portion of an award for personal injury damages is also separate property. An award for medical expenses is not separate property, because the medical expenses are community debts. 

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