Community and Separate Property

Community and Separate PropertyIn Texas, splitting assets in a divorce can be complex because they must be determined to be separate or community property.

Community Property: anything that was purchased during the marriage.

Texas is a community property state, which means anything that was purchased during the marriage is jointly owned by both spouses.  This concept applies even if only one spouse’s name is on the title, deed or account.  For example, a car purchased by the husband with only his name on the pink slip is still considered community property if he bought the car during the marriage.  The same thing applies to the investment property purchased by the wife during the marriage that is in her name only.  These are examples of community property that will be divided during the divorce process.

Separate Property: anything that was purchased before the marriage.

Although Texas is a community property state, it is possible to own separate property.  Separate property is anything you owned before you said, “I do.”  These assets belong to the spouse who owned it before the marriage and cannot be awarded to the other person in any divorce settlement or litigation.  Examples of separate property include a car or rental house purchased before the marriage and a gift or inheritance to that specific individual, even after the marriage.

If you want to make sure you hold on to your separate property, you will need to clearly show that it falls into the parameters under Texas law or that it was acquired prior to your nuptials.

For more information on community and separate property division in Texas, call our Divorce Attorneys at 214.559.7202.


Gary Ashmore
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Probate, Estate Planning, and Family Law Attorney in Dallas, Texas