Fabio & Merrill

The difference between separate and marital property

Although there are many topics to negotiate during a divorce case, property division may be one of the most difficult. At Fabio & Merrill, we understand that people grow attached to the personal items that they have accumulated during the duration of a marriage, and it can be hard to part with marital property. In a Texas divorce, however, only marital property is considered community property and is eligible for division. Separate property, on the other hand, may stay with the original owner.

Marital or community property consists of items and assets that the couple amassed while they were married. This includes homes, vehicles, vacations homes, furniture and even pets that the couple shared. Community property also consists of some items that are often overlooked, such as 401k plans, term life insurance policies, stock options, antique collections, travel rewards points, golf course memberships and gifts that spouses have given to one another during the marriage.

Separate property, on the other hand, may stay with the original owner. This involves items, such as inheritance money, gifts given to either spouse by a third-party, personal injury compensation and titles to property owned prior to the marriage. If, however, the original owner of the property amends the title to include the name of the other spouse, that property is no longer separate and may be divided in a divorce settlement. Similarly, if inheritance money is deposited into a joint bank account shared with the other spouse, that money becomes marital and eligible for division.

To learn more about marital and separate property, visit our page on asset division. 

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