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Laura Dale & Associates, P.C.

Understanding marital and separate property

Although Texas is a community property state, not all property and assets are eligible for division in a divorce. It is important that couples who are filing for divorce understand the difference between separate and martial property in order to ensure they get everything they are entitled to in the divorce settlement.

Separate property involved property and assets that belonged to either party before the marriage occurred. For example, spouses who have their name on a property title prior to getting married and keeps their name on that title may not have to divide it during the divorce process. If, however, they update the title and add the other spouses’ name on it, the property then becomes marital and is eligible for division. The same goes for assets, inheritance and gifts given to either spouse by a third-party. As long as the property and assets stay separate, they may remain with the original owner.

Marital property on the other hand encompasses everything the couple amassed during the marriage and is eligible for division in a divorce settlement. This includes more than just the family home, vehicles and savings account. Other items that may not be taken as marital include antique, art, coin or vehicle collections, memberships to exclusive country clubs or golf courses, lottery ticket winnings, income tax refunds, travel reward program points, term life insurance and gifts spouses gave to one another during the course of the marriage. Intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrights, patents and royalties can be divided as well.

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