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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53684
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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During the marriage I put aside a portion of my earnings in

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During the marriage I put aside a portion of my earnings in a savings account. Is this consider community property or is savings in a joint account where we both put in earnings community property? I have used the money to make repairs on the house. I am eligible for reimbursement of half or all of the money used from my separate savings in the settlement? Or is what remains at the time of judgement subject to division? Does the date of separation matter if we are not legally separated regarding use of income earned/saved in separate accounts? We had joint accounts for paying bills, etc. Does the money paid into those accounts count as community property for bills following separation?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. Pursuant to California Family Code Section 760: "Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or
personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the
marriage while domiciled in this state is community property." Under

The exceptions are set forth in Sections 770 and 771 which provide as follows:
770. (a) Separate property of a married person includes all of the
(1) All property owned by the person before marriage.
(2) All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift,
bequest, devise, or descent.
(3) The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in
this section.
(b) A married person may, without the consent of the person's
spouse, convey the person's separate property.

771. (a) The earnings and accumulations of a spouse and the minor
children living with, or in the custody of, the spouse, while living
separate and apart from the other spouse, are the separate property
of the spouse.

Thus, the earnings and the accounts to which you refer would be considered community property.

This is the part of my job I don't like...when the law is not in favor of my customer. I wish I could tell you these funds were your separate property, but, I can only provide you information based on the law so that you can act on the best available information to you. ………..I wish I had better news, but can only hope you recognize and understand my predicament and don't shoot the messenger. I'm sorry!

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Re: 771A Does this include pension income that was earned during the marriage subject to division and/or income not yet earned as a pension?

Thanks for following up. It would refer to income earned during the marriage (unless separated). It would not refer to income (including pension) not yet earned.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Let me rephrase my inquiry for clarification. All of my husband's income following separation was pension income he earned during the marriage. For several years following separation, my income was not a pension but now has become a pension since I am now retired. What are the rules governing his pension income following separation that were all (there are two pensions) earned during the marriage and prior to separation?


From what I think I understand from your statement, all of my income following the separation up to my retirement would be my separate property. After my retirement, even though separated, my pension would be community property subject to division subject to time rule.

Thanks for your follow up. Anything earned during your marriage and prior to separate is community property..pension or not.

All of your income following separation would be separate property. On the pension, it depends upon when it was earned (not distributed)...if earned during marriage prior to separation: Community; if earned after separation and/or after marriage: Separate.
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

One minor follow-up with major $ impact potentially. If husband earned pension award (community property) and spent funds without sharing following separation when he earned pension award during marriage and prior to separation, am I out of luck in recovering my share in offset/payment in marital settlement?

You would not be out of luck. If you can show your husband dissipated community property, a court would likely factor that in to their division of community property during the settlement. It's up to the judge, but they generally don't look favorably on one party dissipating community property for non-community purposes.
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