Typical exceptions to the community property principle include inherited property and property received as a gift.
In these cases, it is presumed that the spouse who inherited property—or received it as a gift—owns that property as “separate property” (and it is not subject to division). Parties may opt out of California’s community property system by entering into a valid prenuptial agreement.
If a spouse has spent community funds on the person he or she dated during the marriage, the community could seek reimbursement for those funds.
For example, a party cannot in most cases obtain a legal benefit if the other party has committed adultery.
Under California law, a judgment for divorce cannot be granted until at least six months have passed from the time of service of the Summons and Petition.
If one spouse is dating, for example, it may make it more emotionally difficult for the other spouse to proceed with the divorce.
The non-dating spouse may also become suspicious about when the relationship began.
California does not recognize common-law marriages except where the parties resided in another state prior to moving to California and the relationship satisfies the requirements for a common-law marriage in that state.