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The system of community property originated in Spain. It was carried into Mexico by conquest and became the law of many of the states, who recognized the system, in the Treaty of 1848. The general theory of the system is that both the husband and the wife form a partnership when married. Property acquired by the skill or labor of each during marriage belongs to both husband (H) and wife (W).

The community property system is presently the law in Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, Idaho, Nevada, California, Louisiana, Arizona, and New Mexico. T.W.W.I.N.C.L.A.M. All of the states have their own distinct and important aspects. Authorities from each of the states may not generally be used to support problems and issues raised in the others. In each of the states, the community property system replaces and supersedes the common law interests such as dower and curtesy. For the most part dower and curtesy are abolished except as provided by statute. Community property does not preclude other forms of ownership such as joint tenancy, tenancy in common, or partnership. Over the years, the rights of women under the system were expanded greatly creating problems on how to handle retroactive applications to ...

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