As many of our readers know, Texas is a community property state when it comes to property division during a divorce. This means that most property in the divorce is divided in equal shares. Many other states use a system of equitable distribution, which means the property is divided based on what is fair. For people who are going through a divorce in Texas, knowing the basics of community property might help to take some of the confusion and wonder out of the process.
Community property includes almost everything that is acquired during the marriage. This marital property includes income, property, furniture and business interest income. The only property that isn’t considered as community property includes items like anything owned by one spouse prior to the marriage, inheritances and gifts acquired during the marriage and income after the date of separation. These items are known as separate property.
In both the community property and separate property groups, there are conditions that must be met for the property to be entered into a specific classification. For example, separate property can’t be mingled with community property if it will be considered as community property in the divorce.
Some items might even be considered as quasi-community property, which means only part of it is community property. When you start to factor in the complexities of the community property laws in Texas, it is easy to see why having someone familiar with the laws on your side is important. Complete knowledge of the law can help you to know what you can receive as part of the property division settlement of your divorce.
Source: FindLaw, “Community Property Overview” Oct. 05, 2014