Community Property

Community property is a legal concept that governs the ownership of property acquired during a marriage or registered domestic partnership in certain US states. Community property states include Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska is an opt-in community property state, meaning couples can choose to adopt community property laws if they so desire.

In community property states, any assets or debts acquired by either spouse during the marriage are generally considered community property and are owned equally by both spouses, regardless of who earned or acquired them. This includes income, real estate, personal property, investments, and debts incurred during the marriage.

There are some exceptions to community property rules. Generally, property acquired before the marriage, through inheritance or gifts, or after separation or divorce is considered separate property and not subject to community property laws. Additionally, property that is designated as separate property through a written agreement or a prenuptial agreement can also be excluded from community property.

Upon divorce or legal separation, community property is typically divided equally between the spouses. However, the division does not necessarily mean that each item of property will be divided in half. Instead, the court aims to achieve an equitable distribution, taking into account factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse's earning capacity, and their respective financial contributions during the marriage.

Community property laws can have significant implications for property division in divorce proceedings. It is important to consult with an attorney or legal professional to understand how community property laws apply in a specific jurisdiction and to navigate the process effectively.
Back to blog

UOL Case Bank

Upon joining, you become a valuable UOL student and gain instant access to over 2,100 case summaries. UOL Case Bank is constantly expanding. Speed up your revision with us now.

Subscribe Now

Where are our students from?

Yale University
Council of Europe
Baker Mckenzie 
University of Chicago
Columbia University
New York University
University of Michigan 
University College London (UCL)
London School of Economics (LSE)
King’s College London (KCL)
University of London
University of Manchester
University of Zurich
University of York
Brandeis University
University of Exeter
University of Sheffield
Boston University
University of Washington
University of Leeds
University of Law
Royal Holloway, University of London 
Birkbeck, University of London
SOAS, University of London
University of Kent
University of Hull
Queen’s University Belfast
Toronto Metropolitan University
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
University of Buckingham

  • Criminal Practice

    Diagrams and Charts

    Our carefully designed diagrams and charts will guide you through complex legal issues.

  • Criminal Law

    Clear and Succinct Definitions

    Key concepts are concisely defined to help you understand legal topics quickly.

  • Property Law

    Statutory Provisions

    Statutory provisions are provided side by side with legal concepts to help you swiftly locate the relevant legislation.

  • Public Law

    Case Summaries

    We have summarised important cases for you so that you don't need to read long and boring cases.

  • Evidence

    Rules and Exceptions

    Rules and exceptions are clearly listed so that you know when a rule applies and when it doesn't.

  • Company Law


    Legal terms and key concepts are explained at the beginning of each chapter to help you learn efficiently.

  • Case Law

    Case law is provided side by side with legal concepts so that you know how legal principles and precedents were established.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Law Essay Guide

    You will learn essential law exam skills and essay writing techniques that are not taught in class.

  • Law Exam Guide

    Problem Question Guide

    We will show you how to answer problem questions step by step to achieve first-class results.

  • Conflict of Laws

    Structured Explanations

    Complex legal concepts are broken down into concise and digestible bullet point explanations.

  • Legal System and Method

    Legal Research

    You will learn legal research techniques with our study guide and become a proficient legal researcher.

  • Jurisprudence and Legal Theory


    All essential concepts, principles, and case law are included so that you can answer exam questions quickly.