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The Division of Property under the Texas Community Property Laws

The-Division-of-Property-under-the-Texas-Community-Property-Laws

It’s a common misperception that you only have to worry about the division of marital property if you have a substantial marital estate—multiple homes, an investment portfolio or business assets. That’s not the case. Unless you pay attention and assert your rights in Texas, you could lose half of any property you owned free and clear before you got married.

Texas is a community property state. In essence, that means that all property acquired during the course of the marriage is considered community property and must be equally divided upon divorce, with a few limited exceptions. Here’s how it works.

When you file for divorce in Texas, all property will be inventoried and identified as either community property or separate property. Community property is that which you obtained after the wedding, but before the divorce complaint was filed. Separate property is any property that you owned before the marriage. As a general rule, property retains the character it had when acquired. So, if you purchased a home before your marriage, it will typically be considered separate property, even if some payments were made during the marriage.

There are specific exceptions to the rule that property obtained during the marriage is community property:

  • Any gift or inheritance is considered separate property
  • Any property purchased with funds earned before the marriage is separate property
  • Any property that the parties agree in writing is separate or partitioned is separate property

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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 281-420-8020 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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