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In nine US states, any assets, investments, and income that are acquired during a marriage are considered community property. That is, they are owned jointly by the married couple.
For example, if you're married, live in one of these states, and buy stock, half the value of that stock belongs to your spouse even if you paid the entire cost of buying it. In a divorce, the value of the community property is divided equally.
However, property you owned before you married or that you received as a gift is generally not considered community property.
The community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
Property owned by a husband and wife, each owning an undivided onehalf interest by virtue of the marital relationship and not by virtue of any deed or other document of specific intent. There are exceptions for family property inherited from one side or the other. The community property states are Arizona,California,Idaho,Louisiana,Nevada,New Mexico,Texas,and Washington.