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Community Property Laws

A series of laws that obligtate any property bought or money earned by either spouse in a marriage is equally owned by both partners.

Similarly, debt incurred by either partner is equally owed by the couple.

In the event of a death, the deceased partner's share goes to the surviving partner, unless a Will obligates otherwise.

States that employ this law include:

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Idaho

  • Louisiana

  • Nevada

  • New Mexico

  • Texas

  • Washington

  • Wisconsin

Note: Alaska, South Dakota, and Tennessee are "opt in" states, meaning it gives partners the choice to be governed by the "community property" system.