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After looking at the time of acquisition, it is then necessary to apply presumptions regarding ownership. The importance of a presumption relates to the burden of proof particularly when no one can present evidence regarding the time of acquisition of property or there is no evidence because both H and W may be dead. Virtually all of the community property presumptions are rebuttable.


Presumptions affecting ownership: A presumption arises from the very definition of community property that property acquired during marriage is community property. This presumption is a broad general presumption in favor of community ownership and is fundamental to the operation of the community property system in all states. Strong evidence is necessary to overcome the general community property presumption. The trial judge’s determination of the sufficiency of the rebutting evidence will generally be upheld. In California, there is a special presumption favoring separate property classifications for transfers to married women prior to 1975. There is also a presumption against joint tenancy and tenancy in common at the time of divorce. At divorce, a deed reciting joint tenancy is presumed to be community property. All three of these presumptions affect ownership of the property. There are of ...

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