Community property: What you Should and Should Not Do

It this article we will discuss the Community property: What you Should and Should Not Do


CONSIDER making a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage to make clear what properties will be subject to the division of property in case of death or divorce, and what not.

KEEP up to date their accounting books and their files to establish and separate the goods that you want to leave out of the marital property; such is the case of properties, the product of a previous marriage, or property received as a gift or inheritance during the marriage.

CONTINUE separating the assets during the marriage so that that that you you want to keep as individual property is so in the case of divorce or death. Usually this means that you should not mix the goods that he had before he married you and your spouse acquired during the marriage. Otherwise it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to determine legally what belongs to whom.

TAKE INTO ACCOUNT that the increase in the value of the individual property can be considered marital property, so each spouse would be entitled to a portion of the increase in the case of divorce or death of the owner. This applies particularly if the increase in the value (or price increase) is considered an “asset” rather than a “passive”. The “passive”, for example, may be a bank account that increased due to the interest generated, or the increase in the value of a property as a result of inflation. The “active”, on the other hand, are the result of some effort, as would be the case of the arrangements and the paint to a rental property, or keep active several actions in the stock market.

USE only the individual property to buy properties that you also want to leave out of the joint property.In other words, if you buy a boat with the money I had before marriage and keeps him as a well-separated during the marriage, this will be considered individual property. But if your spouse helps pay for part of the pot, or at least helps maintain, the pot may cease to be individual property.

SEPARATE the money they have earned as compensation for any injury the individual during the marriage if it is that you want these funds kept out of the joint ownership of property. The money that a person gets because of an injury claim is only yours; with the exception of any refund that is given for loss of income, or any compensation that you give to your spouse have lost your company or its services.


Do NOT use the individual funds to pay down debt acquired during the marriage. Such funds could lose its character as “individual”.

Do NOT deposit income earned during the marriage in accounts considered to be individual. The income obtained during the marriage are usually considered community property and the deposit in the individual account can “blend in”, so that the account can no longer be seen as a good individual, but a joint.

Do NOT open a joint bank account with individual funds, even if you plan to keep track of what you do not form part of the joint ownership of property. It is much more prudent to maintain separate accounts if you want the individual property to remain separate.

Do NOT assume that any portion of a property that you owned before marriage will be considered community property. For example, if you owned a house before marriage and it increases in value during the marriage as a result of his efforts and those of your spouse to improve it, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of the increase in the value.

Do NOT assume that a business that you owned before marriage will remain entirely as an individual property after marriage. If your business or your professional practice and increase their value during the marriage due in part to the contributions of your spouse, your spouse may be entitled to a portion of the increase once you die or to divorce. Such contributions can be very obvious, for example, to keep the accounts or to entertain clients, but can also be less noticeable, for example, to take care of the children and home while you focus on the business.