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Community Property is an issue that has to be dealt with in most Texas divorces.  We’ve all heard the story about a person who purchased a winning lottery ticket, divorced their spouse and then cashed in the winning ticket the next day.  This does not work.  You purchased the ticket while you were still married.  That makes the ticket and the winnings community property.

If you are going through a divorce in Texas, your marital property will need to be divided.  Property includes not only your home, but also things like bank accounts and even 401K retirement funds.

Community Property

Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.  Make sure that you discuss with your attorney all of the assets that have been accumulated during your marriage.

You may be surprised of the items that are considered to be community property as opposed to separate property.  Property is presumed to be community property.  To establish that property is your separate property, you must establish the fact by clear and convincing evidence.

Separate Property

A spouse’s separate property consists of:

  • Property owned or claimed by the spouse before marriage;
  • Property acquired by the spouse during marriage by gift, devise, or descent; and
  • Recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during marriage except any recovery for loss of earning capacity during marriage.

In establishing separate property, you will need show evidence on how and when the property became yours.  If you have the title to a car prior to your marriage, it helps to prove that you owned it before the marriage.  Or, if you have evidence that it was given to you as a birthday gift.  It will help to establish that the car is your separate property.

Conclusion

A divorce is not a pleasant experience for anyone.  But, when you understand the rules and how they are applied, the process will run smoother.  Create an inventory of what you believe to your separate property and the community property of your marriage.  This will save you a fight that will only make your relationship worse and will cost you more money.