You might have heard that Texas is a community property state, but it’s not always clear what this means when it comes to property division. What counts as community property, and how is it handled when you divorce your spouse? If you’re not sure how this works when it comes to your case, take a look at what Texas attorneys usually mean when they talk about community property and then start talking to your lawyer about how to divide up your property during divorce.
What Are Some Common Examples of Community Property?
Simply put, anything you and your spouse buy while you are married is community property and will need to be equally split in a divorce. It doesn’t matter which of you bought the item or whose name is on it. So, even if you picked out and purchased the couch or only your spouse’s name is on a car, it’s still community property that belongs to both of you.
This goes for everything from regular income and retirement accounts to houses and cars purchased during your marriage. Even if you have separate checking or savings accounts, all the money earned during marriage will be split fairly. If you are not sure if an item you and your spouse own would qualify as community property, a Texas divorce lawyer can provide you with the answers you need.
Are Any Belongings Not Community Property?
While almost all items purchased during marriage are community property, this doesn’t mean everything you own is. First, anything you bought before you got married will still belong to just you after the divorce, as this is separate property. Anything your spouse brought into the marriage will continue to belong to them, as well.
Additionally, certain items that you acquired during the marriage may be considered yours alone when you get divorced. For example, if someone gave you a gift that was intended for only you and not your spouse, it’s separate property that you get to keep. If you inherited family heirlooms or jewelry from your family, that’s separate property, too. Finally, if you were hurt and received a personal injury settlement, you can typically keep the full amount.
Is Debt Considered Community Property?
Just as property accrued during marriage typically belongs to both of you, so does debt. This doesn’t always mean you have to split it evenly. If your spouse makes a lot more money than you, they may be expected to pay off more of the debt. You might also choose to take on more than half the debt in exchange for more of the assets.
You can negotiate this issue with the help of Texas divorce lawyers. If you haven’t hired one yet, call (817) 813-8513 to get started on your case.