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Understanding Community Property in a Texas Divorce

 Posted on May 08, 2023 in Divorce

Harris County division of marital property attorneyDivorce is often a contentious and complex process, but things can get downright ugly when it comes to the division of marital property. Texas is a state that follow the principle of community property, meaning that all assets and debts acquired while a couple was married are considered to be owned jointly by both spouses, and this property will need to be allocated between spouses before their marriage can be ended through divorce. Understanding the basics of community property laws in Texas is essential when approaching a divorce. Make sure to hire an experienced divorce attorney before embarking on this often difficult process. 

Does it Matter Which Spouse Acquired an Asset or Debt?

No. Community property refers to any asset or debt that was obtained during the marriage, regardless of which spouse made a purchase or took out a debt. Common examples of community property can include real estate, income from work, pension benefits, and retirement benefits. In addition, credit card debt, utility bills, and outstanding taxes are also considered to be community property that will need to be divided between spouses during a divorce.

Dividing Community Property

During divorce proceedings, all community property must be divided in a just and right way, according to Texas law. This does not mean that assets and debts must be split equally, but they should be divided in a way that the court finds equitable, depending on the circumstances of the case. The court may examine the parties’ needs, the earning potential of each spouse, the reason the marriage dissolved, decisions about custody of the couple’s children, and other factors when deciding how best to divide the community property.

Exceptions to Community Property

While most assets and debts acquired during a marriage are considered community property, some assets owned by spouses may be regarded as separate property that will not need to be divided during a divorce. Separate property refers to property that one spouse owned before the marriage, was gifted to or inherited by one spouse during the marriage, or was obtained through a personal injury judgment or settlement. In general, the individual who owned separate property will retain full possession of these assets, or they will be solely responsible for separate debts.

Navigating Community Property Laws in Texas

Dividing community property during a divorce can be complex and stressful, regardless of whether the split is amicable or contested. Disputes over property division can spark legal battles and lengthy court proceedings, further exacerbating the emotional and financial toll on all parties involved. It is essential to carefully document all assets, income, and debts, including separate property, to ensure that each spouse receives an equitable share and that both spouses will have the necessary financial resources after their marriage ends.

Contact a Houston Property Division Attorney

Matters related to the division of community property can become complex, and disputes related to assets and debts can sometimes be difficult to resolve. To ensure that you can achieve an outcome to your divorce that will protect your financial interests, contact the experienced Harris County asset division lawyers with The Cusic Law Firm, P.C. for legal help with your case. Call 713-650-1866 for a free consultation. 


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