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What constitutes community property in California?

Filing for divorce in California can be an emotional ordeal. In addition to dealing with issues involving child custody, alimony and child support payments, you’ll have to separate the community property that was accumulated during the time you were married. Also referred to as marital property, community property, consists of a myriad of different items and assets. Some you may not have thought about when it comes time to negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement. By understanding what constitutes community property, you can ensure you receive everything you are entitled to in the settlement.

In addition to the family home, vehicle, furniture and bank account, other items that may be considered community property include the following:

  •          Lottery ticket winnings and tax refunds.
  •          Memberships to exclusive country clubs and golf courses.
  •          Travel miles and other rewards from programs.
  •          Intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks and copyrights.
  •          Assets and equity gained from a business you owed with your spouse.
  •          Stocks, 401k plans, pensions and deferred compensation.

If you and your spouse lent money to a third-party during the time you were married, you are entitled to half of that money once it is repaid, even if it is after you have separated. Don’t forget that any gifts you and your spouse gave to one another may be separated as well. Expensive collections, including art, cars, coins, horses and wine, are also community property and eligible for division.

This information is for educational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice.