Common Law Property

A system used by most states to determine ownership of property acquired during marriage. In contrast to the community property system, the common law property system states that property acquired by one member of a married couple belongs solely to that person unless the property is specifically put in the names of both spouses.

Under the common law property system, if a married woman purchases a car and puts only her name on the title, that car belongs exclusively to her. If the woman lived in a community property state, however, the car would automatically become the property of both the woman and her husband.

For a married couple living together in harmony, the technical details of ownership may seem trivial. However, the details can become very important during divorce or upon death.


Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • common law property state — >> common law state. Webster s New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000 …   Law dictionary

  • common law state — n. A state whose rules governing the ownership, division and inheritance of income and property acquired by a husband or wife during the course of their marriage holds that, subject to various qualifications, each spouse owns and has complete… …   Law dictionary

  • common law — n: a body of law that is based on custom and general principles and embodied in case law and that serves as precedent or is applied to situations not covered by statute the common law of torts: as a: the body of law that was first developed in… …   Law dictionary

  • common-law trust — see trust Merriam Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam Webster. 1996. common law trust …   Law dictionary

  • common law — As distinguished from statutory law created by the enactment of legislatures, the common law comprises the body of those principles and rules of action, relating to the government and security of persons and property, which derive their authority …   Black's law dictionary

  • common-law cheat — The obtaining of money or property by means of a false token, symbol, or device; this being the definition of a cheat or cheating at common law …   Black's law dictionary

  • Common law — Common Com mon, a. [Compar. {Commoner}; superl. {Commonest}.] [OE. commun, comon, OF. comun, F. commun, fr. L. communis; com + munis ready to be of service; cf. Skr. mi to make fast, set up, build, Goth. gamains common, G. gemein, and E. mean low …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Common Law —     Common Law     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► Common Law     (Lat. communis, general, of general application; lex, law)     The term is of English origin and is used to describe the juridical principles and general rules regulating the possession …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Common law offences — are crimes under English criminal law and the related criminal law of Commonwealth of Nations countries. These are offences of the common law which are developed entirely by the courts over the years, and for which there is no actual legislation …   Wikipedia

  • Common law copyright — is the legal doctrine which contends that copyright is a natural right and creators are therefore entitled to the same protections anyone would be in regard to tangible and real property. The proponents of this doctrine contended that creators… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.