Separate and Community Property

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In the great State of Texas, the law follows the “community property” approach when determining ownership of marital property. When a couple gets divorced in Texas, the community property laws dictate how marital assets are divided, unless an asset can be proven to be one spouse’s separate property. Understanding the differences between separate and community property is very complex and can cause a great deal of confusion when trying to determine how property should be divided in a divorce. At Malik & Associates, PLLC, our experienced lawyers are here to educate and guide you through this difficult process, and make sure you receive all the property to which you are legally entitled.

What is Considered Community and Separate Property

According to the Texas Family Code, married couples have two categories of properties: community property and separate property. Community property is the property acquired during the marriage by either spouse, and is considered the joint property of both spouses. Separate property is recognized as property acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage and remains that spouse’s separate property in a divorce. Generally, some acquisition of property during the marriage can be considered separate in certain circumstances. Additionally, there are exceptions to both of these rules further complicating the division of property. Property that can be classified as either community or separate may include any of the following:

  • A family home(s)
  • Real estate
  • Investments
  • Retirement plans
  • Bank accounts
  • Vehicles, Boats, etc.
  • Personal property, such as jewelry, furniture, etc.

Potential Complications with the Division of Assets

Texas law recognizes that community property will be equally divided between the two spouses, and separate property remains with the original owner. This division is complicated, however, by many different situations. For instance, one spouse may use his or her separate property for the benefit of the marital home or property, or both parties may spend community funds on separate property for one spouse. These examples are only two of many situations that add to the complexity of dividing assets in a divorce.

Alternatively, spouses are free to decide how their property should be recognized and subsequently divided in a pre-marital or post-martial agreement, should they both agree that the law’s prescribed division does not fit their personal situation.

If you have questions regarding property in a divorce, it will be helpful to meet with an attorney skilled in the division of assets. The lawyers at Malik & Associates are highly experienced in settling separate and community property cases, and are here to help you.

Separate and Community Property Attorneys Can Help

Want answers to your separate and community property law related questions? For high quality legal services, give Malik & Associates, PLLC a call at 214-881-2100 or fill out our form online to schedule your consultation today. You deserve the right to be represented and receive counsel by a competent team who is on your side and will fight for you and your family.

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