Community Property vs. Separate Property

Which Faces Division?

When it comes to dividing property in a Texas divorce, there are two types of property: community property and separate property. What people may not understand is which type is divided and which is not. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between these two types of property and give examples of each.

Community Property Defined

In Texas, community property is defined as all of the property and earnings acquired by either spouse during marriage. Community property is viewed as being owned by both spouses and will be divided evenly between them in the event of a divorce. Anything that is not community property is considered separate property.

Separate Property Defined

Separate property includes anything that was owned by either spouse prior to marriage or anything that was given to one spouse during marriage. It also includes any compensation received for personal injuries sustained during marriage (e.g., pain and suffering damages). Separate property remains the sole property of the owning spouse in the event of a divorce; it is not subject to division.


Here are some examples of community property:

  • The family home (if purchased during the marriage)

  • Both spouses' incomes

  • Any property purchased during marriage with joint funds

And here are some examples of separate property:

  • Property owned by either spouse prior to marriage

  • An inheritance received by one spouse during marriage

  • Gifts given to one spouse from a third party during the marriage

  • Compensation for personal injuries sustained by one spouse during marriage

It's important to note that community property can become separate property if it is segregated into a separate account or piece of real estate. For example, if you inherit $100,000 from your grandparents and put it into a savings account in your name only, it remains your separate property. However, if you deposit the inheritance into a joint account with your spouse, it becomes commingled and could be viewed as community property.

Work with a Texas Property Division Attorney

If you're preparing for divorce in Texas, it's important to understand how community and separate property will be divided. An experienced family law attorney can help you protect your rights and interests. At Law Offices Of Mark M. Childress, our team works to protect our clients' rights to their property throughout the divorce process.

Learn more about the divorce process in Texas or schedule a consultation by calling (817) 497-8148 or by visiting our website.

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