A divorce is an emotionally and financially challenging life event. Understanding your legal rights throughout the divorce process is essential, especially regarding community property division. If you are dissolving a marriage in Texas, you may wonder how marital property may be divided between spouses. Community property, or “marital property,” is the identification of assets, debts, and liabilities jointly owned by both parties in the marriage. Therefore, according to Tex. Fam. Code § 3.002, the property must be divided in an evenhanded and equitable manner between the two spouses upon divorce.
At Moffett Law Firm, we are well-versed in handling complex and high-conflict issues in Texas divorce proceedings. We work tirelessly to achieve our client’s goals and protect what is important to them, from initial consultation to divorce finalization. With 30+ years of combined experience, we know how to best fight for you.
Overview of Division of Community Property in a Texas Divorce
Texas follows a community property division model regarding divorce, which means that all marital assets gained by either party during the marriage are owned equally. In community property division, assets, debts, and liabilities must be divided equitably between spouses. This may include any property owned in one spouse’s name; if acquired during the marriage, it is subject to community property division, explained in Tex. Fam. Code § 3.003(a).
The following are examples of community property assets, debts, and liabilities:
- Money, stocks, and bonds
- 401(k)s and IRAs
- Real estate and condominiums
- Cars and boats
- Houses and furnishings
- Credit card debt
- Student loan debt
- Boat loans
- Home equity lines of credit
- 401(k) loans
Generally, all property acquired during a marriage is considered joint property of both spouses. The separate property of one party can be converted to community property during a marriage, subjecting it to community property division upon divorce. However, to convert the property, both parties must sign an agreement that identifies the property as being converted. According to Tex. Fam. Code § 4.203(b), transferring separate property into a spouse’s name or both spouses’ names, such as a car title or property deed, is insufficient evidence to prove separate property conversion to community property.
Separate Property in Divorce
Separate property is the assets, debts, and liabilities owned by one spouse before marriage or acquired by only one of the spouses during the marriage by gift, inheritance, or personal injury settlement. Any property or asset proven to be separate by evidence will remain the separate property and is not subject to community division of property in a divorce.
How to Prove Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
If a spouse had sole ownership of an asset before marriage, sole ownership may be proven through one of the following:
- Registered deeds
- Purchase agreements
- Transfer agreements
- Separate property agreements
Additionally, if a spouse maintains a separate property bank account throughout the entire marriage, a highly experienced lawyer may assist in defining this asset as separate property. If you are concerned about protecting your legal rights in a Texas divorce with high conflict community property divisions, turn to Moffett Law Firm for skilled legal guidance.
Speak With the Highly Experienced Property Division Lawyers at Moffett Law Firm
Community property division in a Texas divorce may be emotionally and legally complex. Retain the help of a compassionate and aggressive legal team at Moffett Law Firm to handle your complex property division matters. As experienced mediators and litigators, we are well-versed in fighting for your legal goals to produce the best outcome.