How does California define Community Property?

California defines the term “community property” as real property (land and basically everything attached to it) and personal property (almost everything else), located anywhere in the world, that was acquired by a married person during the marriage while that married person was residing in California unless there is a specific statute exempting it from the general definition. See Family Code §760. Examples of exceptions include gifts, an inheritance to one spouse alone (Family Code §770(a)(2)), or earnings while a married person is separated from the other spouse. Family Code §771(a).

Income arising from a spouse’s skill, efforts, and industry during a marriage is community property. A married person’s paycheck is community property. This applies even if the person is working at a separate property business.

If you have any further questions about community property, please reach out to your local divorce attorneys at Hughes Law Group.

community property in divorce