Marriage is often about sharing, and when two Texas residents decide to wed, they may agree to share the property and assets that they acquire during their lives together. When married people acquire property, it is usually considered community property under Texas law. However, it some circumstances individuals can retain property separate and apart from their spouses despite the community property laws of the state.
What is community property?
Community property is property acquired by married people during their union. It is shared equally between the parties. Separate property, which will be discussed next, can be converted to community property if it is comingled for martial uses.
What is separate property?
Generally, property that an individual acquires before they are married and that through agreement with their spouse is identified to retain its separate status is separate property. Separate property can also be acquired if a married person receives a specific gift only for them and not their spouse, or an inheritance that they do not comingle with marital assets after distribution. Once separate property is comingled with or use for marital property, it may be converted into community property.
What does property classification matter?
The classification of property as either community property or separate property is important if a married couple elects to end their marriage in divorce. That is because separate property remains the property of its individual owner, and community property is divided between the parties. If an item of separate property is reclassified as community property and a couple goes through a divorce, its original owner when it was separate may lose rights to its possession and value during the divorce process.
Asset division issues beyond the classification of property can complicate Texas divorces. Individuals who have concerns about how and to whom their assets and property will be divided can seek counsel and case-specific guidance from trusted family law attorneys.