March 11, 2008

Community Property

Many of you know my father passed away recently and my sisters and I are having to contend with his wife of 3 years now. She married my father knowing that he was a very sick man, and personally, we all knew she was a gold digger except my father. She has been throwing out the term "Community Property" quite a bit these days. I went on Wikipedia to determine what exactly that entails. This is what I found out. In a community property jurisdiction, most property acquired during the marriage(except for gifts or inheritances) is owned jointly by both spouses and is divided upon divorce, annulment or death. Division of community property may take place by item, by splitting all items or by value. In some jurisdictions, such as California, a 50/50 division of community property is mandated by law. If property is held as community property, each spouse technically owns an undivided one-half interest in the property. This type of ownership applies to most property acquired by the husband or the wife during the course of the marriage. It generally does not apply to property acquired prior to the marriage or to property acquired by gift or inheritance during the marriage. After a divorce, community property is divided equally in some states and according to the discretion of the court in the other states.The majority of my fathers belongings were acquired BEFORE their marriage but she thinks that because they were married, it belongs to her. However, she is not going thru a divorce, my father died. This is going to be a big battle that we will have to go thru to save our fathers things and it isn't fair. Its a shame to think that her drug addicted children are draining my fathers house, trying to get what they can, and they didnt even like him. Meanwhile, we(my sisters and I) had to hire an attorney to fight for what is rightfully ours. We don't deserve this and neither does my fathers memory. Has anyone been thru this with a parents spouse, and if so, any suggestions?


Sue said...

Wow! I am sorry to hear of your loss. My father passed in 1999, and I still miss him.

Unfortunately I have no real suggestions beyond seek legal counsel, which you already have.

I think this does demonstrate the necessity of a very specific will. I have watched more than one family torn apart when there is no will.

Best wishes! I hope it works out.

Redness said...

I want to wish you well! These females are a disgrace, we had a similar experience when my brother married a 'piece of work' shortly before he died. Our parents, his children got nothing, not even family heirlooms that were of no value to her! She took everything, wouldn't speak to us, called his sons vultures ... what goes round comes round. Do you have women's legal services where you are? Blessings to you and stay strong!