Key Facts About Community Property Laws

The property division aspect of a divorce is something that may be difficult to understand. As a wife who has always stayed at home, you may wonder if your husband may be able to take everything because he earned all the income. Fortunately, in Texas, that is not how property division works.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, courts divide property based on a concept calledĀ community property. This is where property falls under one of two categories: separate or community. Anything that is community property belongs to both of you, so you both have rights to it in a divorce.

Important points

You are likely to find that most of the property you and your husband own falls in theĀ community property category. It does not matter who bought and paid for an asset. Ownership ties to when you acquired an asset. If you got it during your marriage, then you both own it equally.

Separate property

For something to be separate property, it must meet very strict requirements. Your husband would have to have purchased it before you married. Plus, he will have to show proof that the property is separate, which may be difficult to do.

It is possible to claim something obtained during the marriage as separate property. However, this requires clear evidence that the item is a gift and was not co-mingled with community property or otherwise exempt in some way.

Other exceptions

If you or your husband have a personal injury settlement, that is also separate property for a divorce. However, remember that if you put that money into a joint account, it becomes community property. You or your spouse must have kept any separate property separate at all times.

Understanding community property laws is often easy as most of the things you and your husband own will likely fall into the community property category. However, you may find your husband trying to claim certain assets are separate property. In that case, you have to demand proof of this categorization.

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