Community property

Community property (United States) or Community of Property (South Africa) is a marital property regime under which most property acquired by a spouse during a marriage (except for gifts or inheritances), is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment or the death of a spouse. Community property is premised on the theory that marriage creates an economic community between the spouses (who may be same- or opposite-sex); and that the marital property attaches to that interpersonal community, rather than to the spouses themselves..

Property owned by one spouse after the marriage is sometimes referred to as the "separate property" of that spouse. There are instances in which the community can gain an interest in inherited property and even situations in which gifts can be "transmuted" into community property.

The community property concept originated in civil law jurisdictions but is now also found in some common law jurisdictions.


  • Community of Acquests and Gains: Each spouse owns an undivided half-interest in all property acquired during the marriage, except for property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage, which is separate property; or which traces to separate property acquired before the marriage, which remains separate property; or which is acquired during a period when the couple are permanently living separately and apart (e.g. legal separation, actual or de facto), which is also separate property. This genre of community property is also called "ganancial community property." (Fr communauté réduite aux acquêts, Sp sociedad de gananciales, Du gemeenschap van aanwinst van goederen, gemeenschap van vruchten en inkomsten, Ger Errungenschaftsgemeinschaft, It comunione degli acquisti)
  • Community of Profit and Loss: similar to above but liabilities ("losses") are separate property. (Du gemeenschap van winst en verlies, Afrik gemeenskap van wins en verlies)
  • Community of Personal and Marital Property: Community property consists of all property, personalty and realty, acquired during the marriage; and all personalty acquired before the marriage. Realty acquired before marriage is separate property. (Fr communauté de meubles et acquêts, Du gemeenschap van inboedel, Ger Fahrnisgemeinschaft).
  • Limited Community Property: Similar to community of acquests and gains but certain marital property is separate property. (Fr communauté de biens limitée, Du beperkte gemeenschap van goederen, Swiss Ger Ausschlussgemeinschaft)
  • Universal or Absolute Community Property: All pre-marital and marital property is community property. However, if there are children from a prior marriage, the property associated with that marital community may be segregated from the community property of a subsequent marriage, to ensure the children of the prior spouse have an inheritance. (Fr communauté universelle, Sp comunidad absoluta de bienes, Du algehele gemeenschap van goederen, Ger allgemeine Gütergemeinschaft, It comunione universale dei beni)


South Africa

In South Africa, if a couple does not sign an antenuptial contract, before a notary public, which is subsequently registered at a deeds office, prior to marriage, they are married in community of property, which means that all of their assets and liabilities (even those acquired before the marriage) are merged into a joint estate during their marriage, in which each spouse has an undivided half-share. Each spouse has equal power to deal independently with the estate, except that certain major transactions require the consent of both spouses.[1] One of the consequences of community of property in South Africa is that if one spouse is declared insolvent (bankrupt) during the marriage, the other also becomes insolvent, a potentially devastating consequence.[1]

United States

Community property states
Map of the United States with community property states in red. Additionally, Alaska is an elective community property state, and of the five inhabited US territories, Puerto Rico and Guam are community property jurisdictions.

The United States has nine community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.[2] Alaska has also adopted a community property system, but it is optional. Spouses may create community property by entering into a community property agreement or by creating a community property trust.[3] In 2010, Tennessee adopted a law similar to Alaska's and allows residents and non-residents to opt into community property through a community property trust.[4] The commonwealth of Puerto Rico allows property to be owned as community property also[5] as do several Native American jurisdictions.

Division of community property may take place by item by splitting all items or by values. In some jurisdictions, such as California, a 50/50 division of community property is strictly mandated by statute[6] so the focus then shifts to whether particular items are to be classified as community or separate property. In other jurisdictions, such as Texas, a divorce court may decree an "equitable distribution" of community property, which may result in an unequal division of such. In non-community property states property may be divided by equitable distribution. Generally speaking, the property that each partner brings into the marriage or receives by gift, bequest or devise during marriage is called separate property (not community property). See division of property. Division of community debts may not be the same as division of community property. For example, in California, community property is required to be divided "equally" while community debt is required to be divided "equitably".[7]


  1. ^ "Marriage: the legal aspects" (PDF). Law Society of South Africa. 2011. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  2. ^ "Internal Revenue Manual – 25.18.1 Basic Principles of Community Property Law". Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  3. ^ See Alaska Stat. §§ 34.77.020 – 34.77.995
  4. ^ (PDF) Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Internal Revenue Manual – 25.18.1 Basic Principles of Community Property Law". Retrieved 2016-08-05.
  6. ^ See California Family Code section 2550.
  7. ^ See In re Marriage of Eastis, 47 Cal. App. 3d 459 (1975).


  • Gail Boreman-Bird. Cases and Materials on California Community Property, 10th edn. Revised by Jo Carrillo. St. Paul, Minn.: West Academic Publishing, 2011.
  • Jo Carrillo. Understanding California Community Property Law. New Providence, NJ: LexisNexis, 2015.
  • Jan P Charmatz & Harriet Spiller Daggett, eds. Comparative Studies in Community Property Law. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1955 (repr: Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1977).
  • Charlotte K. Goldberg. Examples & Explanations: California Community Property, 5th edn. NY: Wolters Kluwer, 2016.
  • Robert L. Mennell & Jo Carrillo. Community Property in a Nutshell, 3rd edn. St. Paul, Minn.: West Academic Publishing, 2014.
  • William A. Reppy, Jr. Community Property, 18th edn. Chicago: Thomson/BarBri Group, 2003.
  • William A. Reppy, Jr., Cynthia A. Samuel, & Sally Brown Richardson. Community Property in the United States, 8th edn. Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 2015.
2nd Arizona Territorial Legislature

The 2nd Arizona Territorial Legislative Assembly was a session of the Arizona Territorial Legislature which began on December 6, 1865, in Prescott, Arizona, and ran for 24 days. The sessions chief accomplishments were creation of Pah-Ute County and establishing Arizona as a community property jurisdiction.


In law, commingling is a breach of trust in which a fiduciary mixes funds held in care for a client with their own funds, making it difficult to determine which funds belong to the fiduciary and which belong to the client. This raises particular concerns where the funds are invested, and gains or losses from the investments must be allocated. In such circumstances, the law usually presumes that any gains run to the client and any losses run to the fiduciary who is guilty of commingling. As one source puts it, "[i]n a pejorative sense, commingling is the special vice of fiduciaries (trustee, agents, lawyers, etc.) in failing to keep a beneficiary's money separate from the fiduciary's own money".Commingling is particularly an issue in case of bankruptcy of the fiduciary. Funds held in care are not the fiduciary's property, and the client is not a creditor. So in case of bankruptcy, if the funds have been properly kept separate, they can easily be returned to the client. If, however, the funds have been commingled, the client is potentially subject to becoming entangled in the bankruptcy proceedings, and there may not be sufficient funds to pay the client back.

Community property in the United States

The United States has nine community property states: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Alaska has also adopted a community property system, but it is optional. Spouses may create community property by entering into a community property agreement or by creating a community property trust. In 2010, Tennessee adopted a law similar to Alaska's and allows residents and non-residents to opt into community property through a community property trust. The commonwealth of Puerto Rico allows property to be owned as community property also as do several Native American jurisdictions. In the case of Puerto Rico, the island had been under community property law since its settlement by Spain in 1493. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a similar statute allowing spouses to elect a community property system under Oklahoma law would not be recognized for federal income tax reporting purposes. The Harmon decision should also apply to the Alaska system for income reporting purposes.Joint ownership is automatically presumed by law in the absence of specific evidence that would point to a contrary conclusion for a particular piece of property.Property owned by one spouse before the marriage is sometimes referred to as the "separate property" of that spouse, but there are instances in which the community can gain an interest in separate property and even situations in which separate property can be "transmuted" into community property. The rules vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.

Debbie Rowe

Deborah Jeanne Rowe (born December 6, 1958) is an American nurse known for her marriage to Michael Jackson, with whom she had two children. She lives in Palmdale, California.

Divorce in the United States

Like marriage, divorce in the United States is under the jurisdiction of state governments, not the federal government. Divorce or "dissolution of marriage" is a legal process in which a judge or other authority dissolves the bonds of matrimony existing between two persons, thus restoring them to the status of being single and permitting them to marry other individuals. The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt, though these matters are usually only ancillary or consequential to the dissolution of the marriage.

LGBT rights in Washington (state)

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights in the U.S. state of Washington have evolved significantly since the late 20th century. LGBT people are fully protected from discrimination; Washington enacted LGBT protections in 2006. Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2012, and same-sex couples are allowed to adopt. Conversion therapy on minors has also been illegal since 2018.

Washington is frequently referred to as one of the United States' most LGBT-friendly states. A substantial majority of Washingtonians support same-sex marriage.

Law of California

The law of California consists of several levels, including constitutional, statutory, and regulatory law, as well as case law. The California Codes form the general statutory law.

Lee Marvin

Lee Marvin (February 19, 1924 – August 29, 1987) was an American film and television actor.Known for his distinctive voice and premature white hair, Marvin initially appeared in supporting roles, mostly villains, soldiers, and other hardboiled characters. A prominent television role was that of Detective Lieutenant Frank Ballinger in the NBC crime series M Squad (1957–1960).

One of Marvin's most notable film projects was Cat Ballou (1965), a comedy Western in which he played dual roles. For portraying both gunfighter Kid Shelleen and criminal Tim Strawn, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor, along with a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, an NBR Award, and the Silver Bear for Best Actor.

Leisure World, Arizona

Leisure World Arizona is a gated, resort style adult community located in Mesa, Arizona. The community is located about one mile north of U.S. Route 60 on Power Road. The community is bounded by Southern Avenue, Broadway and Power Roads and the Roosevelt Water Conservation District Canal on the west. The Superstition Mountains to the east serve as a backdrop to Leisure World Arizona. It is near three major freeway systems.

Leisure World Arizona is situated on 958 acres and was begun in 1973 with the first residents arriving in 1974. The last homes were completed in 1994 and upon completion there were 484 condos and 2180 single story units. It is a private community, owned and operated by the Leisure World Community Association which was incorporated in 1984 after the developer ceded control. The Association owns and controls all community property, including two eighteen hole golf courses. The community is a “county island” in Maricopa County. Leisure World Arizona is a self-governing community controlling its own destiny.

Today, Leisure World Arizona has over 4,000 residents from various parts of the United States, Canada, and Europe. The community has three guarded gates with a security department that provides patrol service and gate control 24 hours a day. The community manager is responsible for the operation of the community along with a full-time staff. The community is divided into seven districts with each district electing a district chair who is a member of the governing board of directors responsible for setting association policy.

Over the past twelve years Leisure World Arizona has invested more than twelve million dollars in new and renovated facilities. These new facilities were provided by resident fund raising activities and non-fee revenues. At Recreation Center One there is a 10,000 square-foot world class fitness center which is a focal point of the community. Usage is free for residents and their guests. Residents log in nearly 100,000 sessions each year. The center has the latest strength, aerobic, flexibility and therapy equipment and classes taught by a full-time certified staff. At the same center are a craft building, eight pickle ball courts, 75 seat auditorium, computer lab, 8000 book library, aquatic center, woodworking shop, 12 tennis courts, billiard room, ballroom, shuffleboard courts, sports court and meeting rooms.

The community Recreation Department has thousands of planned activities including educational opportunities, performing arts shows, bus trips and over 150 clubs.

At Recreation Center Two there is an aquatic center with both a lap and therapy pool and spa. There is a performing arts center with the latest sound and lighting systems and a music practice room. There is a café, golfers lounge and pro shop which serve the Coyote Run championship golf course. Recreation Center Three has meeting rooms, a golfers lounge and pro shop which serve the Heron Lakes Golf Course.

There are two eighteen hole golf courses designed by Greg Nash with each having a pro shop and lounge. Coyote Run at 6437 yards and Heron Lakes at 4024 yards offer a variety of golfing experiences. There are several practice putting greens, a driving range, and practice sand traps.

Matrimonial regime

Matrimonial regimes, or marital property systems, are systems of property ownership between spouses providing for the creation or absence of a marital estate, and if created, what properties are included in that estate, how and by whom it is managed, and how it will be divided and inherited at the end of the marriage. Matrimonial regimes are applied either by operation of law or by way of prenuptial agreement in civil-law countries, and depend on the lex domicilii of the spouses at the time of or immediately following the wedding. (See e.g. Quebec Civil Code and French Civil Code, arts. 431-492.). In most Common law jurisdictions, the default and only matrimonial regime is separation of property, though some U.S. states, known as community property states, are an exception. Also, in England, the birthplace of Common law, pre-nuptial agreements were until recently completely unrecognized, and although the principle of separation of property prevailed, Courts are enabled to make a series of orders upon divorce regulating the distribution of assets.

Civil-law and bijuridical jurisdictions, including Quebec, Louisiana, France, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and many others, have statutory default matrimonial regimes, in addition to or, in some cases, in lieu of regimes that can only be contracted by prenuptial agreements. Generally, couples marry into some form of community of property by default, or instead contract out under separation of property or some other regime through a prenuptial agreement passed before a Civil-law notary or other public officer solemnizing the marriage. Five countries, including the Netherlands, have signed on to the Hague Convention on the Law applicable to Matrimonial Property Regimes, which entered into force on 1 September 1992, which allows spouses to choose not only the regimes offered by their country, but also any regime in force in the country where at least one is a citizen or resident or where marital real estate is situated.

Municipalities of Switzerland

Municipalities (German: Gemeinden, Einwohnergemeinden or politische Gemeinden; French: communes; Italian: comuni; Romansh: vischnancas) are the lowest level of administrative division in Switzerland. Each municipality is part of one of the Swiss cantons, which form the Swiss Confederation. In most cantons municipalities are also part of districts or other sub-cantonal administrative divisions.

There are 2,222 municipalities as of January 2018. Their populations range between several hundred thousand (Zürich), and a few dozen people (Bister), and their territory between 0.32 km² (Kaiserstuhl and Rivaz) and 439 km² (Scuol).

Poe v. Seaborn

Poe v. Seaborn, 282 U.S. 101 (1930), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held that a married person's income may be divided with his spouse in a community property state for purposes of U.S. federal income taxation. The Seaborns were residents of the State of Washington, a community property state, and each reported one-half of Mr. Seaborn's salary and other sources of income on their separate income tax returns. The Collector of Internal Revenue determined that the entire income should have been reported in Mr. Seaborn's return. The district court ruled in favor of Mr. Seaborn, and the Supreme Court affirmed. In doing so, the Court distinguished Lucas v. Earl, in which the Court disallowed income splitting by entering into a contract with one's wife, by noting that the earnings in Mr. Seaborn's case are property of the community by state law. In 1948, the United States Congress responded to the different treatment of married taxpayers in community property states and non-community property states by allowing all married couples to take advantage of the "income splitting" joint return.

Prenuptial agreement

A prenuptial agreement, antenuptial agreement, or premarital agreement (PNA), commonly abbreviated as prenup, is a contract entered into prior to marriage, civil union, or any agreement prior to the main agreement by the people intending to marry or contract with each other. The content of a prenuptial agreement can vary widely, but commonly includes provisions for division of property and spousal support in the event of divorce or breakup of marriage. They may also include terms for the forfeiture of assets as a result of divorce on the grounds of adultery; further conditions of guardianship may be included as well. It should not be confused with the historic marriage settlement which was concerned not primarily with the effects of divorce but with the establishment and maintenance of dynastic families.

In some countries, including Belgium and the Netherlands, the prenuptial agreement not only provides for the event of a divorce, but also to protect some property during the marriage, for instance in case of a bankruptcy. Many countries, including Canada, France, Italy, and Germany, have matrimonial regimes, in addition to, or some cases, in lieu of prenuptial agreements.

Postnuptial agreements are similar to prenuptial agreements, except that they are entered into after a couple is married. Historically (and sometimes still today) prenuptial agreements were called marriage contracts. Marriage itself is often viewed as a contract.


Proprietary is an adjective related to property or ownership. It may also refer to:

Proprietary chapel, a chapel that originally belonged to a person, but open to the public

Proprietary church, a church built on private ground by a feudal lord

Proprietary education or For-profit higher education in the United States, educational institutions operated by private businesses

Proprietary colony, an early North American colony granted by the English Crown to one or more proprietors

Proprietary community, a community property owned by a single person or entity

Proprietary company, a form of privately held company in Australia and South Africa

Proprietary DVR, methodologies used to maintain commercial control over the DVR format

Proprietary eponym or Generic trademark, a trademark or brand name that has become a generic name

Proprietary estoppel, a legal mechanism to acquire rights over property, especially land

Proprietary governor, the governor of a proprietary colony

Proprietary House, a mansion in New Jersey built for the proprietary governor in 1764

Proprietary lock-in or Vendor lock-in, creating customer dependency on a vendor for products and services

Proprietary trading, the practice of trading financial instruments with a firm's own money

Public property

Public property is property that is dedicated to public use and is a subset of state property. The term may be used either to describe the use to which the property is put, or to describe the character of its ownership (owned collectively by the population of a state). This is in contrast to private property, owned by an individual person or artificial entities that represent the financial interests of persons, such as corporations. State ownership, also called public ownership, government ownership or state property, are property interests that are vested in the state, rather than an individual or communities.

Revenue Act of 1948

The United States Revenue Act of 1948 reduced individual income tax rates 5-13 percent, increased the personal exemption amount from $500 to $600, permitted married couples to split their incomes for tax purposes, made the distinction between community property jurisdictions and non-community property jurisdictions less relevant in the administration of the income, estate, and gift taxes, and provided additional exemption for taxpayers age 65 and older. The Revenue Act of 1948 was vetoed by President Harry S. Truman, but his veto was overridden on April 2, 1948, by a two-thirds vote of each House of the Republican-controlled Eightieth Congress of the United States.

Rights and responsibilities of marriages in the United States

According to the United States Government Accountability Office (GAO), there are 1,138 statutory provisions in which marital status is a factor in determining benefits, rights, and privileges. These rights were a key issue in the debate over federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Under the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the federal government was prohibited from recognizing same-sex couples who were lawfully married under the laws of their state. The conflict between this definition and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule DOMA unconstitutional on June 26, 2013, in the case of United States v. Windsor.

Prior to the enactment of DOMA, the GAO identified 1,049 federal statutory provisions in which benefits, rights, and privileges are contingent on marital status or in which marital status is a factor. An update was published in 2004 by the GAO covering the period between September 21, 1996 (when DOMA was signed into law), and December 31, 2003. The update identified 120 new statutory provisions involving marital status, and 31 statutory provisions involving marital status repealed or amended in such a way as to eliminate marital status as a factor.

On June 26, 2015, in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court ruled that marriage is a fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens, and thus legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Van Camp accounting

Van Camp accounting is one of the two methods California community property law uses to deal with community funds and/or labor used to enhance the value of separate property. The method is named after a 1921 divorce case, Van Camp v. Van Camp.To calculate, courts will value the manager's services at a market rate and subtract community expenses from that amount. The result is considered community property. The effect of this is that the net income earned by the owner of the separate property results in the manner in which income is treated under California law, which is community property. This method is preferred when the character of the business is the reason for its income. In the case where the management is the main cause for growth and production, Pereira accounting should be used.Van Camp is used when the appreciation of the business is due to the nature of the economy or the type of business. In that case, the community property is awarded what that spouse might have been paid as an employee for similar work. The remainder is the worker's separate property.If capital (rather than spousal or community labor) is the chief factor contributing to a large gain in the value of the business and if labor by the spouse not holding title to the business was compensated fairly during the marriage, the Van Camp method will allocate most of the appreciation in value to the titleholder as separate property.Van Camp accounting can be applied when there increased value due to the unique nature of SP (Separate Property) asset, such as market timing, a world class management team, or a large number of contributing employees. In this case; Fair salary for community labor x years of marriage – salary already received – amounts already paid to community expenses = CP (Community property), the rest is.SP

Waxpool, Virginia

Waxpool is an unincorporated community in Loudoun County, Virginia. Waxpool is centered on Waxpool Road (Virginia Secondary Route 625) in the vicinity of Beaver Dam Reservoir and the planned community of Broadlands.

Waxpool once contained a general store and post office in one building near the intersection of Waxpool Road(Rte. 625) and Belmont Ridge Rd(Rte. 659). The store and was reportedly opened in 1947. The post office was reportedly opened in 1953. Both the store and post office continued operation until 1966.

Waxpool currently contains William D. Parsell Field, baseball field. Formerly named, Waxpool Baseball field, it is currently named for the former owner and lessor of the field to Dulles Little League for use of the Waxpool Mustangs and Waxpool Orioles from the early 1970s through the early 1990s.

Waxpool's name was derived from the fact that much of the local soil is Iredell clay loam, known locally as "wax land" from the waxy nature of the subsoil.Waxpool contained 3 dairy farms from the 1970s until 2 of them were separately purchased and zoned for planned community property in the 1990s. One farm currently remains, located near the intersection of Waxpool Road(Rte. 625) and Belmont Ridge Rd(Rte. 659).

By owner
By nature
(key work)

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