Community Property and Divorce in Texas
Texas is a community property state. In the context of filing for divorce, this means that most of the property and income acquired during a marriage is considered jointly owned when it is time to divide assets. The only property that belonged to a spouse prior to the marriage and a few specific items are considered separate property. To claim something as separate property in a divorce, you present proof to the court.
Distinguishing Between Community Property and Separate Property
Texas law defines most money and other forms of property acquired during the marriage to be community property unless one of the spouses can prove otherwise. All salaries and other forms of income earned during the marriage are considered community property. Even things that have a title with a single name on it, such as a car, are considered community property.
The scope of what is considered separate property is very limited. In most instances, Texas law considers only the following things to be separate property:
- Property acquired prior to the marriage
- Inherited property
- Money related to personal injury claims. All other items are classified as community property.
If you can prove that something is your separate property, the court is required to let you keep it.
A “Just and Right” Division of Marital Property
Texas law states that marital property should be divided in a way that is “just and right.” In an uncontested divorce where both spouses have similar levels of income, this means a 50-50 split of the assets. In most cases, however, there are several factors considered by the court in how to divide the assets. Common reasons for granting one spouse a larger share of the marital property include:
- Differences in earning capacities
- Child custody issues
- Fault in the marriage
- Health conditions of each spouse
- Size of the estate – the smaller the estate, the more lopsided the division will be
Dividing marital assets in court is a complicated and painstaking process. Our attorneys can help you identify property that qualifies as separate property and fight for a fair division of property.
For Help in Your Divorce, Call Heath Grob, Principal Law Firm, P.C.
For help getting a fair settlement in your divorce, call 972-961-4587 or fill out our online contact form to set up a consultation.
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