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What is community property law?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2021 | Divorce

When getting a divorce, couples must divide assets based on what they own jointly and what each individual owns separately. This process is often complex, which is why each state has specific laws in place on dividing assets.

According to the Texas State Historical Association, the state uses a community property standard when making decisions regarding marital assets. This guide explains what this law means and how it can affect your divorce.

Separate property

Separate property is any property solely owned by one spouse. In many cases, one spouse acquired this property prior to the marriage, which means the other spouse has no stake in it. In order to show that property is solely owned, the spouse making the claim must prove this is the case. This might require showing a deed or title, as well as establishing when the sale actually took place.

Community property

On the other hand, community property is any property acquired by either spouse during the marriage. Each spouse receives an equal portion of common property according to the court’s decisions.

Determining the difference between shared and separate property is not always cut and dried. In some cases, what was once separate property may become shared during the course of the marriage. For example, if separate property intermingles with marital property, and there is no clear way to distinguish ownership, that property is then considered common.

Every marriage is different, so it is sometimes necessary to delve deeper into the specifics to make an accurate decision. It is also possible to divide up common property in a way that makes sense to you and your former spouse.