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California is a Community Property State. What Does That Mean?

In a community property state, property is classified as either community property or separate property. Community property, but not separate property, will be divided equally in a dissolution of marriage. Community property generally includes income or assets acquired during the course of the marriage, while the parties are living together. Separate property generally includes property owned by a spouse prior to marriage and any gifted or inherited property received during the marriage which was treated as separate property. Admittedly, this is a bit of an oversimplification. However, it does provide the basic definition of community property.

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