In Texas, a family court judge will consider all possessions acquired by a couple during the union as marital property. As in any other state, marital property in Texas is subject to division in a divorce. However, Texas is one of the few states that recognizes community property laws. Per community property laws, a judge must divide all marital property and income equally upon divorce or death, whereas in equitable distribution states, a judge will divvy up property in a way he or she considers fair. That said, is there property that is exempt from Texas’s marital property laws? FindLaw says yes.
In a community property state, the courts apply an “inception of title rule,” which means they consider an asset’s status at the moment a party acquired it. For instance, if a person acquired a vintage vehicle prior to tying the knot, that vintage vehicle would remain that person’s after divorce. If a person bought a vacation home after getting married, the vacation home would be the property of both spouses’ regardless of which party used his or her income to purchase it.
For ease’s sake, community property is that which either party acquires during the marriage, excluding separate property. Separate property is that which either party claims or owns before the union, and any assets acquired afterward by devise, gift or descent. Separate property may include the following:
- Family heirlooms
- Birthday gifts
- Items purchased prior to the union
- Personal injury awards
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