Property division in a divorce in Texas occurs using the concept of community property, which is different from most other states. It can make for some complex situations as you try to divide your assets.
According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, the court will look at your assets as either separate or community property. Understanding the distinction will help you during this phase of your divorce.
Community property belongs to you and your spouse equally. The court will divide it in half when dispersing. Anything you and your spouse obtained during your marriage falls into this category. There are some limited exceptions, such as inheritances and gifts, that will not be community property.
One important point to understand is that the law assumes all property you own is community property unless you can prove otherwise.
Separate property belongs only to you. It is property you obtained prior to your marriage and did not mix with community property.
To designate something as separate property, you must prove through clear and convincing evidence that it only belongs to you. This means you have legal documents or other official proof that the asset is only yours.
If you commingle your separate property, meaning that your spouse gains an interest in it, then it is no longer just your property. For example, if you owned a home prior to marriage and you and your spouse move into that home, it will become community property.
You have to understand the difference and how to designate something as separate property during a divorce. Failing to understand could result in losing property you feel belongs only to you.