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Law Office of Sally Cooperrider

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San Jose, CA 95112   
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LEGAL MYTH OF THE WEEK. Week One: California Community Property

Posted on July 29, 2014 at 6:40 PM

Myth – If I get married, all my money and property will turn into community property.


Truth - Whatever interest in property you bring into a marriage remains your separate property, unless your transfer title to your spouse (or anyone else), or if separate funds are so commingled with community funds that the separate funds can’t be traced. (Like my twisty ficus tree below.)


New investments during the marriage that are added to separate property (such as using earnings to pay down the mortgage or to remodel) generally create a community interest in the property.


Similarly, the amount in a 401(k) or other pension from before the marriage remains separate property and new investments into it during the marriage are community property.


Caveat: This is not intended to be legal advice. With any legal rule there are exceptions and special circumstances so that these general rules might vary in a particular case.






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