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What you need to know about Texas community property laws

After 10 years of marriage, you and your wife have decided to divorce. During the course of your relationship, you have been the sole earner while your wife took care of the household. You have been running a successful chain of dry cleaning businesses and earning enough to provide for your family.

Now that you are about to start the divorce process, you are wondering how all the assets you have acquired over the last several years will be divided. Surely since you were the sole provider for the family, you are entitled to the majority of the money and property.

In Texas, as with most states, being the sole provider does not entitle you to keep all of the assets you have acquired during your marriage. When it comes to marital property, Texas recognizes the concept of "community property." This means that the court will equally divide all property and income acquired during the marriage upon divorce.

Navigating the divorce process can be very difficult and is not something you should try to do yourself, especially with high value assets that will be included in the settlement. A local Texas divorce attorney can help you understand the state's property laws and how they will affect your divorce agreement.

Read below for basic information on Texas community property laws.

What qualifies as community property?

Even though Texas is a community property state, it does not mean that the court will divide everything owned by you and your wife perfectly in half when you divorce. The court will examine the status of an asset using the "inception of title rule." This means that the court will consider the status of the property the moment you acquired it.

In general, the court considers all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage to be community property. The only property that the state excludes from this classification is separate property. This means that your wife is more than likely entitled to a share of your business as well.

What is excluded from community property?

Separate property that is not subject to divisions includes property that you owned or acquired before the marriage. The state also considers property that you received during the marriage that was a gift or inheritance to be separate property and not subject to the court's division of property.

Other property that is usually classified as separate includes birthday gifts, family heirlooms, and even personal injury awards.

Divorce can be very complicated, especially when there are high value assets that must be divided. For advice on handling your divorce, contact a local Texas attorney with family law experience.

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