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The Community Property Laws in Texas

Property Laws

As part of a divorce proceeding, you and your spouse will need to divide the debts and assets accumulated or acquired during the marriage. In Texas, as in a handful of other states, community property laws apply to the distribution of a marital estate.

Understanding the Concept of Community Property

Community property laws essentially hold that all property obtained during a marriage is considered equally owned. Accordingly, in a divorce proceeding, the parties are entitled to an equal split of the property. There are a few exceptions to the rule:

  • Any property brought into the marriage is considered separate property, not subject to equal distribution
  • Any property obtained through inheritance is excluded
  • Any items gifted to one spouse by the other are not subject to equal division
  • Any recovery for personal injury is not included, unless it was intended as compensation for lost wages

Though Texas is a community property state, the courts still have discretion to consider certain factors when allocating property, as the law requires the court to make a distribution that is “just and right.” Accordingly, the court may consider the needs of minor children, any marital infidelity or even a disparity in education and earning power when dividing the marital estate. If the marital estate includes a retirement plan, you will need a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to effectively allocate those funds.

Contact Us

At the office of Linda Stewart Law, PLLC, in Baytown, we bring more than 8 years of experience to clients in south Texas.

To learn how we can help, call our office at 281-761-6042 or contact us online. We offer an initial consultation at a reduced fee of $50. We accept credit cards and will set up a payment plan, if appropriate. Our offices are open Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., and until noon on Fridays. Evening and weekend appointments can be arranged upon request.

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