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How is property divided during a divorce in Texas?

Texas is one of the states in the country that follows the community property concept for property division. This means that people who are getting divorced will have their property split based on how the property is classified in the eyes of the law. There are some specific points that you should be aware of when you are going through a divorce that involves assets, and even debts, in Texas.

What is community property?

Generally speaking, community property is anything that was amassed from the day of the wedding through the divorce. This can include assets like the marital home, wages earned during the marriage and anything that was purchased with marital money. This also includes debts that were incurred during the same period. This can include the mortgage on the family home, credit card accounts and similar debts.

What is separate property?

Separate property is any property that was amassed before the marriage as long as that property wasn't mingled with the community property. It also includes anything amassed after the separation, as well as inheritances that were passed down to one spouse during the marriage. If you and your ex have separate bank accounts, for example, that might be considered separate property but only part of the account might be protected from being split because of co-mingling with community property.

Determining what property falls into which category can sometimes take some research, especially in high-asset divorces. If you are going into a marriage with assets, a prenuptial agreement can help you to keep those protected. In the absence of a prenup, you will have to rely on Texas law split things up, so learn about how the law applies to your case.

Source: FindLaw, "Community Property Overview," accessed Sep. 16, 2016

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