Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Boise Idaho Divorce Lawyers - Who Can Buy and Sell Community Property?

Community Property in Idaho
Community Property is a legal issue special to Idaho.  Not all states recognize community property and even the ones that do have different issues and resolutions than Idaho.  Community property developed as a particular western concept, giving ownership in common to women.  Women in the west were often given rights and responsibilities not afforded to their eastern neighbor ladies primarily because of the conditions unique to the rugged American West such as men being absent for long periods of time and the need for women to be able to keep the homestead running.  What developed as a practical way to deal with property in the west resulted in more rights and control for women.

Who Can Buy or Sell the Community Property?
As a Boise Divorce Attorney I often get panicked calls from individuals on the brink of divorce.  Sometimes those calls revolve around the disposal of community assets or incumbering the community through the purchase of a big ticket item.  As a divorce lawyer I see the real question behind the anxiety as who can buy or sell the community property?

According to Idaho law both the husband or the wife have the right to individually manage and control the property of the community.  Either can also bind the community by contract - aka buy a big ticket item without the knowledge of the other.  If one spouse does this, however, their action will not bind the separate property of the other spouse. They can buy things, but they cannot sell, give away or encumber the community real estate unless they do it together or by giving the other party the express and complete authority to sell the community property through a power of attorney.

What's the Difference Between Community and Separate Property?
Community property is any property acquired during a marriage with community monies.  Separate property is property owned before a marriage.  Separate property can be transformed into community property in a couple of ways.  It can be transmuted, meaning its character is changed, by express gift or by actions that make it look like it has become community such as co-mingling of community funds.  If there is separate real property the transmutation must be evidenced by a written document signed by the owner of the separate property.  You can maintain your separate property or money after you are married.  You can also gain separate property during a marriage if you inherit property or money.  Also, if you sell a piece of separate property while you are married and you use those funds to buy another piece of property that property remains separate property.

Community Property Law is a curious legal phenomenon.  It makes sense to us who live it day in and day out, but to an outsider it can seem like a strange marital control issue.  Idaho Divorce attorneys are well aware of all the intricacies involved when you have a mixing of separate and community property.

If you have a divorce or community property issue and you need to speak to a Boise Divorce Lawyer, give us a call, (208) 472-2383, and see what we can do for you - you will be glad you did.  Also, for more information about divorce in Idaho visit our Boise Divorce Attorney page.

1 comment:

  1. Great informative post.I am delighted to have found Boise Attorney, Pat Kershisnik, has been practicing law in the Boise Area for 18 years.In this blog discusses many Idaho legal issues including divorce,estate planning,workers comp and small business law.In Boise Idaho Community property developed as a particular western concept, giving ownership in common to women.Click here for more information : Women Buying Homes