What is a community property state?
There are only a handful of community property states (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Wisconsin, and Washington - and Alaska by prior written agreement), and each of those states has distinct community property laws. In general, however, community property states agree that property acquired before the marriage belongs to the spouse who possesses title. However, anything purchased or acquired during the marriage is considered “community property,” i.e., as belonging equally to both spouses. In a community property state, it is presumed that husband and wife jointly own all money earned and all property purchased by either party for the duration of the marriage; likewise, any debt incurred during the marriage belongs equally to both spouses.