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What is Community Property in Texas?


In Texas, when a couple gets divorced, marital assets are divided using community property laws. Any property that is acquired throughout the marriage is community property unless it is proven to be separate. This can be confusing for each party because it can be difficult to determine what property they can claim and how it should be divided.

Defining Community Property

According to the Texas Family Code, property owned by spouses falls into two categories: community property and separate property.

Essentially, any asset or property that is acquired during the marriage is considered the joint property of both spouses, except when it qualifies as separate property. This means the property is under the management, disposition, and control of both spouses. Community property can include:

  • Family home
  • Real estate
  • Investments
  • Retirement plans
  • Vehicles
  • Bank accounts

In most cases, community property will be split in half between the two spouses. However, this isn't always the case. There are many factors that can determine how community property will be divided. For example, spouses may be able to change how they want their property divided through a post-marital agreement if they both agree that to a different division of property.

How to Prove Property is Separate

In Texas, property that was acquired before the start of the marriage is the separate property of that spouse. Additionally, there are other types of property that can be separate even if the spouse purchased or received it during the marriage. This includes:

  • Gifts
  • Inheritances
  • Monetary recoveries for personal injuries (except recovery for that person's loss of earning capacity)

The spouse must be able to prove the property is under their sole ownership and management for it to be considered separate. This proof can include:

  • Recorded deeds
  • Purchase agreements
  • Transfer agreements
  • Separate property agreements

These assets must be maintained as separate property. If they are comingled with assets from the marital estate, they could become community property.

If you have questions about dividing property in your divorce, call Parchman Law Group P.L.L.C. at (713) 364-0777 to speak to our Woodlands divorce lawyer today.