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Understanding community property in a Texas divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 22, 2023 | Divorce

In Texas, understanding the concept of community property is important when navigating the complexities of divorce. Community property laws dictate how assets and debts accumulated during a marriage are divided upon divorce. 

This system is based on the principle that both spouses contribute equally to the marriage, regardless of their individual income levels or the source of assets. Learn more about community property here. 

Defining community property

Community property includes nearly all assets and debts either spouse acquired during the marriage. This encompasses real estate, bank accounts, investments, furniture and debts like mortgages or credit card balances. 

The critical factor is that the property must have been acquired after the marriage commenced. There are notable exceptions, such as inheritances or gifts specifically given to one spouse, which are considered separate property.

Separate property considerations

Separate property refers to assets owned by either spouse before the marriage or acquired by gift, bequest or descent during the marriage. It’s vital to prove the separate nature of these assets, as they are not subject to division upon divorce. Documentation, such as deeds, account statements or inheritance records, often plays a key role in establishing an asset as separate property.

Division of community property

In Texas, the law mandates a division of community property that is “just and right.” This does not necessarily mean an equal 50/50 split. Factors like each spouse’s earning capacity, fault in the dissolution of the marriage, the health of each spouse and custody arrangements for children can influence the division.

Given the complexities and nuances of community property laws in Texas, it is advisable for individuals going through a divorce to seek assistance. Knowing the law is the best way to protect your rights.