Community Interest Pension
Community Interest Pension are contributions made to a pension during marriage which are considered community property under California law. Remember that the contribution must come from a community source (i.e. one spouse’s income) and not from separate property.
Often, during divorce, either one spouse or both spouses fail to realize that there is a interest pension that was created while working during the marriage. Should the community interest pension not be addressed in a divorce proceeding, the spouse whose has the pension may later discover that they will not have access to the funds or have limited access to funds.
Additionally, if the existence of a community interest pension is not disclosed, the spouse who later discovers it’s existence will have the right to reopen the divorce proceeding so that a court can divide the community interest pension.
The community interest pension falls under the general community presumption. Under the Family Code, there is a general presumption that, except as provided otherwise by statute, all assets acquired during the marriage while the parties are domiciled in California are community property.
Community Interest Pension Presumed to be Community Property
Joint form–community presumption. For the purpose of characterizing property in an action for dissolution or legal separation, property acquired by the parties during marriage or in joint form, including property held in tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or tenancy by the entirety or held as community property or community property with right of survivorship, is presumed to be community property. The presumption affects the burden of proof and may be rebutted only by one of the following:
- A clear statement in the deed or other documentary evidence of title by which the property is acquired that the property is separate property and not community property; or,
- Proof that the parties have made a written agreement that the property is separate property.
When the community property presumption applies to property held in joint title and cannot be rebutted, a spouse who made separate property contributions to acquire the jointly held property may nevertheless be entitled to reimbursement in the division of the community estate on dissolution.
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For more information on California pensions, retirement plans and California Community property, read the following: