FAMILY CODE SECTION 2580-2581
2580. The Legislature hereby finds and declares as follows:
(a) It is the public policy of this state to provide uniformly and
consistently for the standard of proof in establishing the character
of property acquired by spouses during marriage in joint title form,
and for the allocation of community and separate interests in that
property between the spouses.
(b) The methods provided by case and statutory law have not
resulted in consistency in the treatment of spouses’ interests in
property they hold in joint title, but rather, have created confusion
as to which law applies to property at a particular point in time,
depending on the form of title, and, as a result, spouses cannot have
reliable expectations as to the characterization of their property
and the allocation of the interests therein, and attorneys cannot
reliably advise their clients regarding applicable law.
(c) Therefore, a compelling state interest exists to provide for
uniform treatment of property. Thus, former Sections 4800.1 and
4800.2 of the Civil Code, as operative on January 1, 1987, and as
continued in Sections 2581 and 2640 of this code, apply to all
property held in joint title regardless of the date of acquisition of
the property or the date of any agreement affecting the character of
the property, and those sections apply in all proceedings commenced
on or after January 1, 1984. However, those sections do not apply to
property settlement agreements executed before January 1, 1987, or
proceedings in which judgments were rendered before January 1, 1987,
regardless of whether those judgments have become final.
2581. For the purpose of division of property on dissolution of
marriage or legal separation of the parties, property acquired by the
parties during marriage in joint form, including property held in
tenancy in common, joint tenancy, or tenancy by the entirety, or as
community property, is presumed to be community property. This
presumption is a presumption affecting the burden of proof and may be
rebutted by either of the following:
(a) A clear statement in the deed or other documentary evidence of
title by which the property is acquired that the property is
separate property and not community property.
(b) Proof that the parties have made a written agreement that the
property is separate property.