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blanco2011

California Law on Community Property

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I have a question on community property within the state of California. I have been married for approximately two years. This is my second marriage. During the divorce proceedings in my first marriage, my ex-wife was awarded child support and a monetary dollar judgement against me. I have been making child support payments but am unable to make the monetary judgement payments. I have no shared accounts (banking, credit cards, savings etc) with my second wife. She purchased a home (15) years before we married. Can the courts come after my current wife's assets in an attempt to recover judgement awards from my first marriage?

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. I have no shared accounts (banking, credit cards, savings etc) with my second wife. She purchased a home (15) years before we married. Can the courts come after my current wife's assets in an attempt to recover judgement awards from my first marriage?

If the deed is only in her name, no.

If she put your name on the deed at some point, then yes.

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Can the courts come after my current wife's assets in an attempt to recover judgement awards from my first marriage?

It's not clear what you mean by this. Courts do not "come after" assets. I'll assume you intended to ask whether the assets that you describe as your "current wife's assets" are subject to enforcement of the judgment in favor of your ex-wife. The problem with that question is that you haven't clearly explained what you mean by your "current wife's assets."

Under California law, the separate property of a married person is subject to enforcement of any judgment against him/her. Similarly, all community property is subject to a judgment against a married person (whether that judgment was entered before or after the marriage). The separate property of the non-debtor spouse is not subject to the judgment. Separate property is property owned before the marriage, property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or inheritance, and the proceeds earned from separate property. Everything else is community property. It is possible for one's spouse to acquire a community property interest in the other spouse's separate property; this occurs most commonly where one spouse owns a home before marriage and then, during the marriage, uses community property funds to improve the property or pay down the principal balance of the mortgage. Each spouse's earnings during the marriage are community property unless a prenuptial agreement exists that says otherwise.

From that, you should be able to discern that your current wife's separate property is off limits. However, you may have a community property interest in her separate property (e.g., the home, and the statement in the prior response that the dispositive factor is whether or not your name is on the deed is absolutely incorrect).

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