Texas is one of nine community property states that divides property according to community property rules when a couple divorces. The other way in which property is divided in the other 41 states is referred to as equitable property division. Community property division is typically a process of dividing the couple’s marital property in half.
What is community property division?
Community property division is the process of dividing marital property in half when a couple decides to divorce. Marital property is generally property acquired by the couple during the marriage and excludes separate property. There is a presumption that property acquired during the marriage is community property which makes the process of classifying property important.
What is marital versus separate property?
The importance of marital versus separate property is that separate property is generally not subject to the property division process. Separate property commonly includes inheritances, gifts, personal injury awards, earnings of either spouse following legal separation. Separate property also includes property that either spouse had prior to the marriage. There are areas when the line between community and separate property can become gray which is why divorcing couples should be familiar with community property laws and the community property process and how it handles special circumstances.
The focus is on “equitable” property division
The community property division process focuses more on equal ownership of property acquired during marriage, while equitable property division focuses on a property division settlement agreement that is fair or equitable. Because Texas follows community property laws, divorcing couples should understand that property is commonly divided in half and should be familiar with how the family law process can help them address their property division concerns.