FAMILY.CODE SECTION 720-721
Property rights, marriage obligations under California State Statutes
720. Husband and wife contract toward each other obligations of
mutual respect, fidelity, and support.
721. (a) Subject to subdivision (b), either husband or wife may
enter into any transaction with the other, or with any other person,
respecting property, which either might if unmarried.
(b) Except as provided in Sections 143, 144, 146, 16040, and 16047
of the Probate Code, in transactions between themselves, a husband
and wife are subject to the general rules governing fiduciary
relationships which control the actions of persons occupying
confidential relations with each other. This confidential
relationship imposes a duty of the highest good faith and fair
dealing on each spouse, and neither shall take any unfair advantage
of the other. This confidential relationship is a fiduciary
relationship subject to the same rights and duties of nonmarital
business partners, as provided in Sections 16403, 16404, and 16503 of
the Corporations Code, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) Providing each spouse access at all times to any books kept
regarding a transaction for the purposes of inspection and copying.
(2) Rendering upon request, true and full information of all
things affecting any transaction which concerns the community
property. Nothing in this section is intended to impose a duty for
either spouse to keep detailed books and records of community
(3) Accounting to the spouse, and holding as a trustee, any
benefit or profit derived from any transaction by one spouse without
the consent of the other spouse which concerns the community
FAMILY.CODE SECTION 770-772
770. (a) Separate property of a married person includes all of the
(1) All property owned by the person before marriage.
(2) All property acquired by the person after marriage by gift,
bequest, devise, or descent.
(3) The rents, issues, and profits of the property described in
(b) A married person may, without the consent of the person’s
spouse, convey the person’s separate property.
771. (a) The earnings and accumulations of a spouse and the minor
children living with, or in the custody of, the spouse, while living
separate and apart from the other spouse, are the separate property
of the spouse.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the earnings and
accumulations of an unemancipated minor child related to a contract
of a type described in Section 6750 shall remain the sole legal
property of the minor child.
772. After entry of a judgment of legal separation of the parties,
the earnings or accumulations of each party are the separate property
of the party acquiring the earnings or accumulations.
FAMILY.CODE SECTION 760-761
760. Except as otherwise provided by statute, all property, real or
personal, wherever situated, acquired by a married person during the
marriage while domiciled in this state is community property.
761. (a) Unless the trust instrument or the instrument of transfer
expressly provides otherwise, community property that is transferred
in trust remains community property during the marriage, regardless
of the identity of the trustee, if the trust, originally or as
amended before or after the transfer, provides that the trust is
revocable as to that property during the marriage and the power, if
any, to modify the trust as to the rights and interests in that
property during the marriage may be exercised only with the joinder
or consent of both spouses.
(b) Unless the trust instrument expressly provides otherwise, a
power to revoke as to community property may be exercised by either
spouse acting alone. Community property, including any income or
appreciation, that is distributed or withdrawn from a trust by
revocation, power of withdrawal, or otherwise, remains community
property unless there is a valid transmutation of the property at the
time of distribution or withdrawal.
(c) The trustee may convey and otherwise manage and control the
trust property in accordance with the provisions of the trust without
the joinder or consent of the husband or wife unless the trust
expressly requires the joinder or consent of one or both spouses.
(d) This section applies to a transfer made before, on, or after
July 1, 1987.
(e) Nothing in this section affects the community character of
property that is transferred before, on, or after July 1, 1987, in
any manner or to a trust other than described in this section.
FAMILY.CODE SECTION 850-853
850. Subject to Sections 851 to 853, inclusive, married persons may
by agreement or transfer, with or without consideration, do any of
(a) Transmute community property to separate property of either
(b) Transmute separate property of either spouse to community
(c) Transmute separate property of one spouse to separate property
of the other spouse.
851. A transmutation is subject to the laws governing fraudulent
852. (a) A transmutation of real or personal property is not valid
unless made in writing by an express declaration that is made, joined
in, consented to, or accepted by the spouse whose interest in the
property is adversely affected.
(b) A transmutation of real property is not effective as to third
parties without notice thereof unless recorded.
(c) This section does not apply to a gift between the spouses of
clothing, wearing apparel, jewelry, or other tangible articles of a
personal nature that is used solely or principally by the spouse to
whom the gift is made and that is not substantial in value taking
into account the circumstances of the marriage.
(d) Nothing in this section affects the law governing
characterization of property in which separate property and community
property are commingled or otherwise combined.
(e) This section does not apply to or affect a transmutation of
property made before January 1, 1985, and the law that would
otherwise be applicable to that transmutation shall continue to
853. (a) A statement in a will of the character of property is not
admissible as evidence of a transmutation of the property in a
proceeding commenced before the death of the person who made the
(b) A waiver of a right to a joint and survivor annuity or
survivor’s benefits under the federal Retirement Equity Act of 1984
(Public Law 98-397) is not a transmutation of the community property
rights of the person executing the waiver.
(c) A written joinder or written consent to a nonprobate transfer
of community property on death that satisfies Section 852 is a
transmutation and is governed by the law applicable to transmutations
and not by Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 5010) of Part 1 of Division 5 of the Probate Code