Knowing the difference between the two types of property as defined by Texas is important in understanding how the state distributes property in the case of divorce. How the disputed property is classified will determine how much and to whom the property will be awarded. This blog posts seeks to provide clarity on who owns what during a marriage and how it gets distributed in the unfortunate event of divorce. First, it is necessary to understand that “property” can mean many things, such as: money, land, houses, furniture, etc. In Texas, there are two types of property: a) community property, and 2) separate property.
Community Property: “Community property” is property owned from the date of marriage forward and is owned 50/50 by each spouse, unless it can be proven to be separate property. Income earned from a spouses’ work is considered community property as well.
Separate Property: Separate property is: a) property owned prior to marriage by a spouse; b) property received by a spouse as a gift; or c) property which is inherited by a spouse. Separate property is retained by the owner spouse in the event of a divorce. If separate property is specifically used to produce income during marriage, then income from the separate property is community property. An example of this type of income could be profits from a company owned by a spouse before marriage. Basically, at divorce, each spouse will keep their own separate property and the community property will usually be divided in half through the course of divorce proceedings and negotiations. Of course, the two spouses may divide their property however they wish if they both agree to it. For property division in the event of a family member’s death, please see the blog post “Dying Without a Will Might Harm Loved Ones.”
The Takeaway: Property a person owns before marriage, receives by gift, or receives as inheritance is separate property. Property acquired after marriage is community property.
– The Litigation Team
Mark | Steve
The Allen Firm, PC
181 S. Graham Street | Stephenville, Texas 76401
Ph: 254.965.3185 | Fax: 254.965.6539
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