Before a person marries, all of their personal possession and real property belong solely to them, unless these have previously been declared as jointly owned. Such properties generally remain yours after you marry, unless something is done to convert them to marital-possession status. But generally speaking, income earned and property bought after marriage is considered marital property, explains Colorado-based law firm Marrison Family Law.

Most U.S. states are common law states. In a common law state, as long as your name is officially indicated on the title paper like that of registration or deed, the property is deemed separate property. Property is also considered yours if you bought it or received it as a gift. These are known as non-community property. Separate property, in community law states, includes gifts given to one partner, property owned before the marriage, and inheritances given to one spouse.

In other words, community property refers to property acquired while a person is married and residing in a community property state. These include wages, housing, investments, and salaries. Non-community property, on the other hand, is owned before the marriage or never shared by spouses. These include inheritances, gifts, and property acquired and never used for the other spouse’s benefit.

For community property, tax reporting is divided 50-50, which each spouse reporting half of the total community income when filing tax returns separately. For non-community property, each spouse must report 100 percent of their individual or separate income when filing taxes separately.

Community law states in the U.S. are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin. Every other U.S. State is non-community property States.

For more than 25 years, Marrison Family Law has been offering legal services to people going through divorce. The firm’s award-winning team of lawyers also specialize in custody, adoptions, and property division. Visit this blog for more reads on family law.

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