Is Texas a community property state and what does that mean?

Only a fraction of the states other than Texas are considered community property states. Since the majority of states do not deem property acquired during marriage to be equally divisible, there is a certain level of ambiguity surrounding the division of property during a divorce in Texas.

Most states equitably distribute property acquired during a marriage. This means that property is split based upon what is decided by the court to be fair, not what is equal. So one spouse made be awarded 70 percent of the assets and another 30, because that is deemed to be what was fair.

With community property, all known assets acquired as a couple and during the marriage, are taken into account and are divided equally between both parties. This does not mean that if you bought four acres in South Texas each partner will receive two. And of course, it doesn’t mean you both get the house, so get a few big rolls of tape and start drawing the lines. This means total assessed values of assets will be divided equally between both spouses.

Separate property is kept by the individual owner. Separate property is usually, but not limited to, gifted property, property you had before the marriage, pension proceeds or inheritance property or property bought with inheritance money.

These divisions do not have to be decided by the court. If couples can come to an amicable decision on who gets what, a court will not have to dictate this. Often, your divorce attorney can advise you on how best to manage retention of the assets that are greatest value to you and perhaps not as valuable to your spouse, and often this value is not monetary but is rather an associate value based upon emotional estimations.

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