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Presumptions play a significant role in determining the character of property as separate or community property. 19 Kenneth W. Weber, Washington Practice: Family and Community Property Law § 10.1, at 133 (1997) (“Possibly more than in any other area of law, presumptions play an important role in determining ownership of assets and responsibility for debt in community property law.”). The presumptions are true presumptions, and in the absence of evidence sufficient to rebut an applicable presumption, the court must determine the character of property according to the weight of the presumption. Id.


The character of property as separate or community property is determined at the date of acquisition. Harry M. Cross, The Community Property Law in Washington, 61 Wash. L. Rev. 13, 39 (1986). Under the “inception of title” theory, property acquired subject to a real estate contract or mortgage is acquired when the obligation is undertaken. Id.; see also In re Estate of Binge, 5 Wn.2d 446, 105 P.2d 689 (1940); Beam v. Beam, 18 Wn. App. 444, 453, 569 P.2d 719 (1977). Once the separate character of property is established, a presumption arises that it remained separate property in the absence of sufficient evidence to ...

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