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How does community property work?

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2023 | Divorce |

When a court has to determine property division in a Texas divorce, it will use the concept of community property. This is an important distinction from the majority of other states that use equitable distribution to divide marital assets.

Community property still allows for separate property, but it looks at the division of marital property as an equal venture. The concept also is rather strict about separate property and exceptions to what assets the court can divide.

Presumption of community property

It is essential to understand that the law presumes all assets you and your spouse own are community property or owned by you both. You must prove that something is separately owned within the definitions set by the law. If you cannot provide evidence to support these claims, then the court will treat the asset as community property to equally divide between you and your spouse.

Separate property evidence

Separate property is that which you owned before your marriage and kept apart from your marital assets. It also includes inheritances, gifts and proceeds from personal injury lawsuits that you did not commingle with marital assets. Keeping property separate can be difficult since you cannot use any money you make during the marriage to care for the property as that would tinge it as at least partially community property.

You will have an uphill battle showing your separate property in a divorce. Having good records and being careful with the asset is the only way to ensure you can prove it is not community property.


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