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Must couples divide only their joint properties after getting divorce?

If the man buys a house or a car after marriage in his name, or has bank accounts or investments in his name, must he give 50% of all his property to his wife as well?

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    That depends entirely on the moral philosophies of the couple, and is unrelated to the law.
    – user6726
    May 13 at 4:49
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    @user6726: Good point but I think there is a problem with my English. What I tried to ask was about to knowing the US devorce law, especially in California.
    – GoodMan
    May 13 at 6:07
  • Should is the moral implication. The demand would be must or shall.
    – Trish
    May 16 at 6:07

2 Answers 2

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Yes - property acquired during marriage by either spouse, under most circumstances, becomes community property in CA. It is generally split 50/50 in divorce by action of law. It doesn’t matter who earned it or in whose name it is in. An exception can be money inherited by one spouse or gifted to one spouse. However those assets, like assets acquired before marriage, can become community property if they are commingled with community property.

The main exception would be a valid prenuptial agreement that provides otherwise.

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  • FWIW, the main exception would be a valid prenuptial agreement that provides otherwise.
    – ohwilleke
    May 18 at 15:26
  • thanks, added it to my answer. May 18 at 18:37
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In France, it depends on what goods regime the marriage was established. There are three regimes : separate goods (which means that the spouses' properties are and remain their own), shared goods (their properties are merged and anything they acquire afterwards is shared-property too), and acquired-shared goods (their properties at the time of the marriage remain separated, but anything they acquire afterwards is shared property).

When a divorce happens, only goods that are shared are divvied up among the two spouses, in a proportion decided by the judge.

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