Once your divorce process begins, a first step each party takes is providing your Burleson divorce attorney (who provides to the court) a list of all your assets. The court divides those marital assets after the divorce.
When it comes to your assets, under Texas family law, courts presume that all property is ‘community’ property, though a spouse may claim that some of their property is ‘separate’ property.
Separate vs. Community property
Texas is a ‘community property’ state, which means that all property is presumed to be community property, unless a party argues that certain property is ‘separate’ property. The distinction between separate property and community property is important because separate property cannot be divided (shared) with the other party after a divorce.
Texas law governing division of marital property is complicated. Your divorce lawyer must be familiar with these issues to advise you and advocate your rights based on your and your spouse’s assets. The knowledgeable and experienced Burleson divorce lawyers at the law firm of Lovelace Law have represented hundreds of clients successfully. They will protect your rights and making sure you receive all the marital assets that are rightfully yours after your divorce.
A. Community Property
Texas law defines community property as everything acquired throughout the marriage, unless it is separate property. Marital property includes both spouses’ earnings and all other assets, such as real estate, personal property and bank accounts, even if only one spouse’s name is on the deed, title or account. Once classified as community property, all marital property is divided equally between the spouses
While money can be divided in half, real estate and other personal property cannot be. Instead, spouses receive an equal percentage of the total value of these marital assets.
B. Separate Property
Under Texas law, a spouse claiming that an asset is separate property must establish that this classification is appropriate by “clear and convincing evidence.” You need to provide documents establishing your ‘sole’ acquisition of the property prior to the marriage, dated deeds, banks statements, a prenuptial agreement, property is an inheritance or gift received by one spouse during the marriage, or property was acquired after the divorce was filed
Such ‘separate’ property can become community property if it is “commingled” with community property at any time. For example, if a house owned by one spouse before the marriage is sold during the marriage and the proceeds are deposited into a joint account, those funds become community property.
Next week, we will go in greater detail about the division of marital property in divorce.
If you have any questions regarding a divorce or potential divorce, call our office at 817-953-9656 to make an appointment with Cade Lovelace or Jennifer Lovelace for a free consultation.