Marital Property in Texas
Many people know that Texas is a community property state, but they may not know exactly what that means.
The Texas Family Code Sections 3.001 through 3.003 state as follows:
“GENERAL RULES FOR SEPARATE AND COMMUNITY PROPERTY. Sec. 3.001. SEPARATE PROPERTY. A spouse’s separate property consists of: (1) the property owned or claimed by the spouse before marriage; (2) the property acquired by the spouse during marriage by gift, devise, or descent; and (3) the recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during marriage, except any recovery for loss of earning capacity during marriage.
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“Sec. 3.002. COMMUNITY PROPERTY. Community property consists of the property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.
“Sec. 3.003. PRESUMPTION OF COMMUNITY PROPERTY. (a) Property possessed by either spouse during or on dissolution of marriage is presumed to be community property. (b) The degree of proof necessary to establish that property is separate property is clear and convincing evidence.”
This means that the property you acquire while you are married–even if you’re separated–will be presumed to be community property. To prove that any of the property is your separate property, you must show evidence that you owed the property before you were married, you acquired the property by gift, devise (through a will) or descent (inheritance without a will), or the property was from a personal injury recovery.
If the property is community property, it will be subject to division by the court. It’s important that all property issues are addressed in the divorce decree so that your rights to your share of community property are protected.