Question: What is community property? Which U.S. states are community property states? What is the difference between community property and separate property?
Answer: Community property and separate property are two different ways that a married individual holds property. Only 9 states in the U.S. recognize community property: Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin. Puerto Rico also allows property to be owned as community property.
Arizona Community Property vs. Separate Property
Community property is all property acquired during marriage, except property acquired by gift or inheritance, or property acquired after the service of a petition for divorce, legal separation or annulment if the petition results in a decree of divorce, legal separation or annulment. A.R.S. § 25-211.
Separate property is all real and personal property owned by an individual before marriage. Separate property is also property acquired during the marriage by gift or inheritance, or property acquired during the marriage, but after the service of a petition for divorce, legal separation or annulment provided that the petition results in a decree of divorce, legal separation or annulment. A.R.S. § 25-213.
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