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How does community property work in divorce?

When it comes to dividing marital property during a divorce, there are either community property or equitable property states. As a community property state, Texas courts divide marital property in a specific way. When you are preparing for your divorce, it can help to understand how community property law operates.

FindLaw explains that community property states divide marital property equally, regardless of the earning potential and assets of each spouse. Everything you and your spouse acquired during your marriage will be considered marital property, with a few exceptions. For example, the following situations would apply:

  • Property you gained before you were married and which you retain sole ownership of, such as your car and assets from your own small business which your spouse was not involved in, remain yours and are not considered marital property.
  • Property you and your spouse purchased together, such as a home and vehicles, are considered marital property.
  • Gifts, inheritances and family heirlooms that you received while you were married are considered your own property and will not be divided with your spouse.
  • Joint debt is also considered marital property to be divided.

Property division can become complex when it involves business assets that you and your spouse own together, as well as investments, pensions and retirement plans. When you have significant assets, it can feel as if you are trying to unravel a tangled ball of string in your attempt to wrap up the loose ends of your divorce. This often requires experienced counsel; therefore, the information in this blog should not substitute for the advice of a lawyer.

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