What is the difference between separate property and community property?
Separate property refers to any property the spouses acquired separately before the marriage or after separation (or in some states after divorce). At divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property.
Can separate property become community property?
Community property is typically acquired until the date of separation with property being earned after this point being considered community property. Community property also includes income earned by either spouse during the marriage. Community property typically means property that is equally owned by the spouses.
What is considered separate property in a marriage?
Separate property is anything you have that you owned before you were married or before you registered your domestic partnership. Inheritances and gifts to 1 spouse or domestic partner, even during the marriage or domestic partnership, are also separate property.
How do you keep property separate in a community property state?
Whether you live in a community property state like California, you might choose to keep some assets separate in marriage. To do so, consider consulting with a family law attorney before marriage to create a prenuptial agreement, or if you're already married, something called a post-nuptial agreement.