There are nine community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Alaska. If you live in one of these states, knowing the bellow information can make a major difference in how much property and money you keep at the end of your divorce.
So, what exactly is community and separate property? Well, the simple legal definition is that all property bought before the marriage, inherited, received as a gift, or won through a personal injury suit is separate property and all other property is community property. Like all legal definitions, however, there are plenty exceptions to this rule. One such exception can be found in property won in a personal injury suit. If the money was awarded to pay your medical bills, then it is separate property. If the money was awarded for loss of income it will be community property. If you are unsure about what type of property you have, it was be best to call an attorney.
So, why is it important that you know what type of property you have? First, and most important, separate property is not divided in a divorce. Community property states are under the belief that if you earned before the marriage or you received it as a gift, then it is yours. And nobody should take that away from you. Not even your spouse. Second, all property is presumed community property unless proven otherwise. This means that you have the burden of proving that the house your grandfather left you was in fact separate property. If you can not do that, the court will treat it as it was bought during the marriage and divide the house in a just and right manner. A just and right manner does not mean equally either. A judge will take into account all the facts surrounding your divorce in order to find a proper division of the community property. This includes how much each spouse makes, how much separate property each spouse has, and whose is at fault in the divorce. And while judges on paper are supposed to be unbiased and make sure what they do is fair to both parties, they often let their emotions get the best of them and lean more to who they think deserves the lion’s share of the property. That is why you need to make sure that all the property that can be separate property is shown to be separate property and out of the reach of the court.
This quick rundown of separate and community property can help you greatly if you decide that you want to file your divorce on your own. Another service that will help you immensely in your divorce petition would be to go to uslegalpro.com. After you fill out a quick and easy questionnaire, all you have to do is sit back and start setting up your new life. Because Us Legal Pro will use that questionnaire to create the right divorce packet for you, which they will then file for you in the right court. It is cheap and easy to use. So, take your new-found knowledge and start the next chapter of your life right.