California is a community property state. What this means is that (generally) all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage is deemed to be jointly owned by both. Generally, if a life insurance policy has been purchased by one party using "community funds" (i.e., joint funds) during a marriage, it will be considered to be a community asset or community property in the case of divorce. Similarly, the surrender value of a life insurance policy purchased with community funds may be considered community property in California. If a life insurance policy is purchased prior to marriage using separate funds, the policy will generally be considered an individual asset and not community property.
Board Certified In Family LawBy The California Board Of Legal Specialization