How does an individual or a couple determine what is considered community property? There is no simple answer to this question, as each couple’s individual circumstances vary. Residents of Louisiana, however, have a few clear guidelines to follow when it comes to dividing assets during a divorce.
Navigating Community Property
The first matter of interest is to decide who keeps what after the physical separation. In Louisiana, items that count as community property generally include:
- General property acquired during the marriage by either or both parties
- Property donated to the couple jointly during the marriage
- Property acquired by the couple with community assets
Generally, these assets are considered separate property and are not subject to division:
- Property acquired by one spouse before the marriage
- Property gained via inheritance or donation to only one spouse
- Legal damages awarded to one spouse
Separating Community Property
Individuals going through a divorce are not always able to civilly divide real property or other shared goods. Title deeds and certificates may show ownership but do not always determine whether an item is community or separate property. If items are purchased with shared funds, they may still be considered community property, even if only one spouse’s name appears on the title. Additionally, items that were previously considered separate property may be commingled with items considered community property and lose their status as separate property.
Family law issues are often easier to endure when both parties have a strong and positive support system. Both parties should seek competent legal advice before taking action.