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How familiar are you with the property division process? - II

Last time, our blog began taking a closer look at how the property division process works in order to help people better understand what will likely prove to be one of their more pressing divorce-related concerns. To that end, we discussed how Texas is a community property state and how the law defines separate property.

We'll continue this discussion in today's post, focusing on how to prove property is separate and how property is divided by the courts.

How can a person demonstrate that an asset is separate property?  

As we stated earlier, there is a presumption in the Lone Star State that any property or debt acquired by either spouse during the marriage is marital property and, as such, owned by each spouse 50-50.

In order to overcome this presumption of community property in the event of a dispute, the spouse will need to supply clear and convincing evidence that the property in question is indeed separate. What this means is that testimony indicating that the property is separate will likely be insufficient and that other documentary support will be necessary.

In general, this means the spouse will need to supply documentation demonstrating that the property in question was separate at the time of its initial acquisition or at the "inception of title."

Does Texas being a community property state mean that property will be divided 50-50?

While it's easy to see why someone would believe that a state's classification as a community property jurisdiction would equate to an automatic equal division of assets, this is not always the reality.

The reality is that Texas courts divide martial property in a manner deemed to be "just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage."

What this means is that courts will consider a host of factors when dividing marital property -- from their respective incomes to the size of the community estate -- and that it might end up ordering anything from a 60-40 split to a 70-30 split.

We'll conclude our discussion of this complex topic in a future post.

If you would like to learn more about property division or have questions about a divorce-related issue, consider speaking with an experienced legal professional.

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