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Subject to Division? Community or Separate Property

When considering a divorce in Texas, the first concern many people may have is: how much of our “stuff” is the other party entitled to? In order to answer this question, you must first have a general understanding of how property is classified in Texas. In Texas, for purposes of property division, property is either deemed “community” or “separate”. A determination as to whether your property is categorized as community or separate will govern whether it is subject to division by the Court in a divorce proceeding and ultimately how that property will be divided between the parties.

Pursuant to Texas law, property that is acquired by either person during the marriage is considered community property. Separate property is loosely defined as any property not deemed to be community property; this includes property obtained prior to the marriage, gifts to one of the individuals, and any bequeathed property. Understanding the distinction between community and separate property is vital as only property which is deemed to be a community asset is subject to division by the Court.

While many assets are simple enough to classify such as a family heirloom obtained through a Will disposition, or a computer purchased during the marriage. There is, however, no shortage of litigation related to the classification of assets which aren’t as easily categorized. For instance, investments which are purchased prior to the marriage but continue to grow in value or produce dividends require a greater knowledge and understanding of Texas law to determine the character of the property. In these sorts of instances, it is imperative that you receive expert legal advice.

Hayes, Berry, White & Vanzant, LLP represents Texas individual and business clients in a wide range of legal matters. Call us at 940-230-2386 or contact us online to schedule a meeting at one of our four offices, located in Denton, Flower Mound, and Gainesville.

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