When looking to end your marriage, there are several things you will need to resolve. One is how you will divide your assets with your spouse — and that’s not always as easy as it may sound.
While Texas is a community property state, there are three possible types of property that a couple may hold: Assets that belong to only one of you, those you share as a married couple and those somewhere in-between.
How Texas looks at assets in a divorce
In general, everything you and your spouse own will be considered community property and subject to division in a divorce until you prove otherwise. This includes:
- Income earned during the marriage is community property, no matter which of you made it.
- Assets you buy while married are also community property, even if one of you paid for it.
You may be able to carve out certain assets as your separate property, however, by showing that you entered the marriage with those assets or that they have always belonged solely to you. Generally, your separate property includes:
- Things you owned before the marriage or protected through a prenuptial agreement are separate property.
- Inherited assets and gifts you alone received are also separate. They include gifts one of you gave to the other while married.
The third category of property you may have is what the state considered assets that have been “commingled” with assets that belong wholly or partially to your spouse. These assets can be challenging to sort out. They are assets that may have started out as your separate property but were used as though they were community property. For example, maybe you had a pension plan started before your marriage but you continued to invest in it after your wedding date. Some of that money may be carved out as your separate property still, while your spouse may have a partial claim on the rest.
A judge can take various factors into account when deciding how property needs to be defined and divided in a divorce. Working with an experienced attorney is the best way to protect your interests.