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Figuring Out Community Property in a Divorce

| Apr 15, 2021 | Blog, Divorce |

When Texas residents get divorced, they’re aware they need to think about how they’re going to divide their assets. In Texas, property is either considered community property or separate property. Figuring out the difference between the two as it pertains to a specific marriage will help determine how assets are split after the marriage. This is often the part of a divorce that becomes acrimonious, so the couple usually reaches out for help from a third party.

What is community property?

Community property is property owned jointly by the couple together in equal shares. Separate property is solely owned by a single spouse. This type of property includes property the spouse owned on their own prior to the marriage or property they received as the result of an inheritance. In Texas, property acquired during the marriage is community property, so that means it’s split equally between both spouses. This includes everything from bank accounts to real estate to investment accounts. Spouses who have retirement accounts will need to share those assets as well.

If one of the spouses claims that a certain asset is their sole property, they’ll have to prove it. This will usually include providing the court with proof like a contract, a bill of sale, or some other type of paper trail. If they’re able to prove sole ownership in a way that satisfies the court, they can claim that property in the divorce.

Sometimes the difference between community and separate property is difficult to determine. This usually happens when sales, exchanges, or gifts were made of those assets between the couple during or before the marriage, but there’s no proof. If the spouse claiming ownership can’t prove it, the property will most likely remain community property.

Who can people turn to when they need help with dividing up assets in a marriage?

Divorce is hard, and splitting up assets in a marriage can make things harder. People dealing with these issues may benefit by working with attorneys of experience with this type of law.