How can you tell What Property is Community Property and Which is Separate Property?

Property each spouse has before the marriage remains their own, while property obtained during marriage is community property owned by both.  For most young couples who marry before they have wealth, everything they have upon divorce will be community property since everything was acquired by them during the marriage.  

Older people who marry or second or third marriages, in contrast, may bring significant separate property into the marriage.  This property remains separate property except where a transmutation occurs.  Transmutations occur for a number of reasons, most commonly estate planning and tax planning.  For a transmutation to be effective it must explicitly change the separate property to community property.  Where there is ambiguity, the court will usually be conservative and not find a transmutation.  Because of the high stakes, all of these issues require an experienced, knowledgeable attorneys who can help you make the best decisions.  Contact Sagaria Law today to schedule a consultation to learn more.