For example CA is a community property state, so all property acquired during the marriage (except for by gift/inheritance) is community property so each party owns 1/2.
This applies to income- so each party is entitled to 1/2 of the parties' income.
If the parties divorce, the idea is to keep both parties' living standard at the standard of living achieved during marriage so the court can award spousal support to the lowerearning/nonemployed spouse. This can be life long if the parties have been married for a long period.
Upon death, each party inherits all of the community property and at least 1/2 of the separate property of the other spouse. If there are no relatives of the deceased spouse, the surviving spouse inherits all of the separate property.
Here is an overview of property issues:
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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.