Asset Protection Planning

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Community Property State Definition

community property states

Community Property State Definition

The definition of a Community Property State is a state in which the law considers that property acquired by a married couple during their marriage is joint property. This is the case even if only one spouse acquired solely it his or her name. Creditors with a civil judgment against one spouse can enforce it by seizing the assets of the debtor. What is more, they can also seize the assets of the debtor’s spouse. Plus, they can take those held jointly by both spouses.
The concept is that the husband and wife each obtain a one-half interest in what the law calls community property. When the asset was obtained is one determining factor. Community property is typically considered to be the assets that couple owns and that were obtained while married. An exception might be separate property either spouse owns individually. For example, separate property includes the assets that each individual brings into the marriage. It can also include property that either spouse inherits during the marriage.

States that have adopted such statutes that utilize a community property method of dividing resources patterned their statutes after Spain and France. Napoleonic Code influenced each of these standards. After viewing this, you may want to know about some other statutory protections. You can view the homestead exemptions and IRA creditor exemptions by state.

Tenancy by the Entirety States

Tenancy by the Entirety & Community Property Table

The following is a table of the Community Property States as well as the Tenancy by the Entirety States. It also reveals how each state relates TBE to real and personal property.

States Tenancy
by the Entirety
Property State
Alabama No
Alaska Yes Yes Yes
Arizona No Yes
Arkansas Yes Yes Yes
California No Yes
Colorado No
Connecticut No
Delaware Yes Yes Yes
District of
Yes Yes Yes
Florida Yes Yes Yes
Georgia No
Hawaii Yes Yes Yes
Idaho No Yes
Illinois Yes Yes No
Indiana Yes Yes No
Iowa No
Kansas No
Kentucky Yes Yes No
Louisiana No Yes
Maine No
Maryland Yes Yes Yes
Massachusetts Yes Yes Yes
Michigan Yes Yes No
Minnesota No
Mississippi Yes Yes Yes
Missouri Yes Yes Yes
Montana No
Nebraska No
Nevada No Yes
New Hampshire No
New Jersey Yes Yes Yes
New Mexico No Yes
New York Yes Yes No
North Carolina Yes Yes No
North Dakota No
Ohio No
Oklahoma Yes Yes Yes
Oregon Yes Yes No
Pennsylvania Yes Yes Yes
Rhode Island Yes Yes Yes
South Carolina No
South Dakota No
Tennessee Yes Yes Yes
Texas No Yes
Utah No
Vermont Yes Yes Yes
Virginia Yes Yes Yes
Washington No Yes
West Virginia No
Wisconsin No Yes
Wyoming Yes Yes Yes

The information about planning your asset protection strategy, tenancy by the entirety states and community property states was believed to be accurate at the time it was published. But no warranties or guarantees are given about the accuracy or completeness of the information.


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