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The money remains community property unless you formally divide the income by doing a partition agreement which each of you sign which turns your community property income into equal shares of your sole and separate property. In that partition agreement, you also want to provide that income from sole and separate property owned by each of you will also be the sole and separate property of the respective owner. Otherwise, there is no documentation that it was the intent of both parties that the divided money from your earnings be to convert those earnings from community property to separate property.
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Let me know if you need a template for a Partition Agreement. I'll be happy to provide one for you.
Thanks for following up. I agree that it's not fair and equitable and it would not be that situation if you had documented initially. You can do a retroactive agreement now if your wife is willing to agree. But, if not, at least if you put it into effect now, you'll be protected going forward. The basis is that in a community property state, everything acquired during marriage (other than through gifts or inheritance) is considered belonging to both of you. So, if you don't document it in a signed agreement that you are dividing it, simply putting it in separate accounts doesn't indicate an intent to partition. Many couples have separate accounts for convenience. And, this usually only comes up later in situations involving divorce and then it's too late to get the agreement of the spouse who would be adversely impacted.
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 that simply dividing the money without a signed agreement would be sufficient, 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!