At Part 4 of the Petition, the Petitioner can identify his or her separate property. Separate property is:
- All property owned by the person before marriage.
- All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift, bequest, devise, or descent.
- The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in this section. Family Code Section 770(a); and
- 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. Family Code Section 771(a).
You can ask the Court to confirm your separate property to you (and the Respondent’s separate property to him/her). Separate property is not subject to equal division as is community property (see next post). However, your separate property will be considered if long-term spousal support is an issue. Family Code Section 4320(e).
If you are unsure about the characterization of certain property, be sure to talk to an experienced family law attorney.