Property Valuation and Division Information

All property acquired during marriage is either community property or separate property.  Property which is acquired by gift or inheritance or property produced by separate property (rents, issues and profits) of separate property remains separate property.  All property acquired before marriage or after the date of separation are separate property.  Separation occurs when either party does not intend to resume the marriage and his or her actions represent the finality of the marital relationship.  One appellate case, Marriage of Norviel has held that living apart physically is an indispensable threshold requirement to separation. 

Community and separate property may be commingled or mixed together.  In such instances, it may be required to trace the source of the funds.  Property rights may be altered by agreement of the parties.  When such agreements are entered into before marriage, they are called premarital agreements and when such agreements are entered into after the marriage they are called postnuptial agreements.  Such agreements may be unenforceable for a variety of reasons.  Special rules apply to certain types of property such as personal injury damages, student loans and property rights restricted by federal statutes such as railroad retirements and military benefits.  The Court is required to make an equal division of the community estate.  In making this division, absent a showing of good cause, the Court must value the assets and liabilities as near as practicable to the time of trial.
This page was last updated: June 18, 2011
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