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What is considered community property?

During marriage, a couple may accumulate several assets that may be divided in the event of a divorce. This process can become a difficult one, especially if one spouse feels as if specific property is theirs and that it should not be divided. Despite what one spouse may want, each state has laws that decide how property division works during a divorce.

Community property varies depending on the state the couple resides in, but in many states it is considered any property that was obtained during the marriage. This may include items that were acquired or maintained as both separate and community property. Unless it is designated to a specific spouse, community property includes debts as well.

When it comes to the house, it depends on whether or not there are children involved. In this case, the parent who does more of the child-raising duties will be awarded the home. If no children are involved, the house is awarded to the spouse who purchased the home if they did so with separate funds. If the house wasn't purchased with separate funds, then the laws of the state decide who gets this property.

Just as there is community property, there is separate property as well. This property is what was obtained prior to the marriage. This type of property includes inheritance, gifts and court awards. There are some instances where separate property can become community property. A good example of this would be a business started by one spouse before the marriage, but survives due to the marriage.

With state laws varying, couples may find themselves unsure of how property will be divided in the event of a divorce. Contacting a divorce attorney may be able to help with this confusion.

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