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How familiar are you with the property division process?

While it goes without saying that the foremost concern of anyone going through a divorce is child custody, it's fairly safe to assume that the second most pressing issue for most people -- or maybe the first for those who don't have children -- is property division.

Even though people might be loathe to admit this, fearing that they will somehow appear materialistic or uncaring, it's actually quite understandable. The reality is that you and your soon-to-be former spouse have worked very hard to build a nice life and it's only natural that you would want your fair share.

In recognition of this reality, today's post, the first in a series, will take a closer look at how the property division process works here in Texas.

I've heard Texas referred to as a "community property" state, what does this mean?

Texas, along with eight other states, is a community property state. This means that any property -- or debt -- acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage is considered marital property and owned by each spouse 50-50.

This is the case regardless of how the property is titled, such that if a husband purchased a boat during the marriage and owns it in his name only, his wife will still be considered to own a half interest.

Does this mean that there's no such thing as separate property?

State law does indeed recognize separate property and this distinction is important, as separate property is not subject to division in a divorce.

In general, separate property includes the following:

  • Property owned before the marriage
  • Property acquired by inheritance during the course of the marriage
  • Property acquired by gift during the marriage
  • Property acquired during the marriage that was purchased using funds that were owned as separate property

We'll continue discussing this complex topic in future posts. In the meantime, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional if you would like to learn more about property division or have questions about divorce here in Texas.

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