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Community property law in Texas

On Behalf of | Aug 8, 2018 | Property Division

Texas is a community property state, so when it comes time to divide assets following a divorce, splitting them down the middle is common. Sometimes that seems easier said than done, though, does it not? 

Couples acquire so much together even when they are only married for a brief period of time. Of course, longer marriages accumulate a lifetime of earned wages, savings, retirement funds, homes and furnishings. Is every single asset considered community property to divide equally?

The Texas State Law Library explains any possessions “acquired by a couple during their marriage (with a few exceptions) is equally owned by both spouses.” As noted below, property owned before marriage or purchased after the couple separated does not count as community property.

FindLaw goes on to give other examples of community property and distinguish between those and “separate property.” The house a couple purchases together along with its furnishings belong in the first category while assets the two owned before getting married go in the second. The couple also shares interest income while separately owning inheritances and other gifts. Some will feel relief to learn that bank accounts the two already hold separately remain that way and do not fall on the list of property to divide equally. 

In addition to outlining what is and what is not considered community property, FindLaw discusses how judges make decisions regarding these assets. Primarily, they take into account the grounds for divorce and the ability of the partners to make ends meet separately. They also consider what is best for the children.