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.