Community property means the ownership of property acquired during marriage, in which all earnings during marriage and all property acquired with those earnings are considered community property and all debts incurred during marriage are community property debts. Community property laws exist in some states in U.S. such as Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin.
For most couples, wages and salaries are the biggest component that compromise of community property. Pensions are also included, as are assets (such as houses and cars) bought with these funds. So if one spouse is worth ten million and the other is worth fifty cents before walking into the church for the wedding, their respective wealth is probably going to be about the same when they walk out a few hours later.
Separate property on the other hand, is the property acquired by both the spouses separately. In most cases the separate property includes: anything owned prior to marriage, anything received as a gift during marriage and anything that the spouse earns after separation. Similar to separate property, separate debts belong to one spouse. All debts incurred before marriage are separate debts. For example, educational loans or job training loans incurred before marriage would be separate debts.
In case of separation or divorce, the community property is divided equally between both the spouses. It may be done by agreement, through a property settlement, or by judicial decree. Distribution of property means the division of property and it takes place due to a death or the dissolution of a marriage, which was owned by the deceased, or acquired during the course of the marriage.
Initially, the husband held the right to control community property, but this right has been modified by many statutes. Community property is a cool concept and is undertaken by most of the couples during marriage.