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How is property divided in Texas?

As a community property state, all property deemed to be marital property is split evenly between divorcing spouses in Texas. Not all property owned by one spouse or the other will be considered to be marital property, however. Some types of property are considered separate and are thus excluded from the property division order.

In Texas, property acquired during the marriage either by one spouse or the other is generally considered to be marital property. An inheritance received by only one spouse may be considered to be the separate property of that spouse, as will any personal injury settlement received by one party. Gifts given to one spouse but not to the other during the marriage are also considered to be separate property.

Separate property includes all of the property owned by each party prior to the marriage. It is possible to lose the exclusion from property division if separate property is commingled with marital property. For example, if inheritance money is deposited in a joint account, it may become subject to division as marital property. When people have a valid antenuptial contract signed by both sides, the property excluded from division by such an agreement will be considered to be separate property.

Property division can be straightforward and simple in some cases, while it can be very complex in others. In some high-asset cases, there may be numerous real estate holdings, business interests, accounts and retirement funds, all of which might be subject to a property division order. If people believe their spouse may be hiding assets, they may require help in locating hidden accounts and assets to ensure they receive the share of property to which they are entitled in their divorce. A person may benefit by consulting with a family law attorney regarding the property division in their case.

Source: Findlaw , "Texas Marital Property Laws", November 26, 2014

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