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Property division: Community property vs quasi-community property

For Californians who are in the middle of a divorce, one of the most common topics for intense dispute is property division. There are certain laws that regulate how property will be distributed as part of the divorce. While most will understand the concept of community property and separate property, there is also quasi-community property. Understanding the difference between community and quasi property is important in a case as it moves forward.

With community property, anything that the spouses own in tandem will be included. If it was purchased or acquired while they were married - except for gifts and inheritance - it will be community property and subject to equitable division. In addition, earnings that both parties brought into the relationship and everything purchased will be community property. Also included is debt that was accrued. Even if one party used, for example, a credit card in his or her name, both are responsible for it. The property and debt is split evenly in California.

Quasi-community property is property that one or both parties acquired when they lived in a different state but it would have been community property had it been acquired if they resided in California. If the couple lived in New York while they were married, they earned income, purchased property or both, anything that would have been categorized as community property in California will be quasi-community property. When the couple divorces in California, this will be community property and split based on state law.

Property division is the foundation for significant disagreement when there is a divorce. It can seem difficult when property is community or quasi-community property. Perhaps the case can be settled through negotiation. Or it might need to go to court to be addressed when there is a dispute of where a property came from and to whom it belongs. Having legal assistance to handle these circumstances is beneficial and a law firm that handles family law and property division can help.

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