Until you face the possibility of a divorce, you may not think too much about the property you own. We daily meet with individuals who have no idea about Texas marital property laws. Dividing property in a divorce in Texas can be simple or vastly complicated. Property falls into two categories in Texas – community and separate. Community property includes the financial resources such as savings accounts and retirement accounts that accumulated during the marriage. If you purchased valuable items such as coins and jewelry – that might be community. The home in which you live with your spouse is quite often community property. However, if your spouse owned the house prior to marriage, it is most likely separate. On the other hand, if your earnings contribute to the mortgage payments, you would, most likely, have a financial interest in the property.
To put it all in the simplest terms, separate property is:
- what you owned prior to marriage;
- inheritance or what you receive from a will:
- personal injury money for pain and suffering:
- gifts and money received from others.
Community property is just about everything else. In fact the Texas Family Code tells us that whatever property a person owns when they divorce is “presumed” to be community – that means that it will be divided. You have to prove that property was and is your separate property with documents or other evidence. Also the idea that property is split 50/50 isn’t in the Family Code. “Just and right” is in the code in refence to splitting property. Sometimes, an item of property is both community and separate. This circumstance involves complicated rules. You might hear about “tracing” and “community out”.
In the end, when dividing property in a divorce – experienced representation matters. Contact us today at (281) 550-6650