During a divorce, there are so many things that you need to consider, and unfortunately, things might get messy. Your spouse might be lying about their income in order to avoid having to pay child support, or you may need to get help from a Houston Texas divorce lawyer on issues involving your children or other divorce matters. However, determining how your property should be divided might feel very chaotic like how it is after a pinata is finally broken. However, before you give up ever seeing your home again, learn what the differences are between community, separate, and marital property, and what those distinctions may mean in a Texas divorce agreement.
The issue of trying to separate property during a Texas divorce process might seem quite muddy. What if you inherited a farm from your grandmother; will your ex-spouse be entitled to part of it! What if you and our wife purchased a car together – You paid for it, but her name was used on the paperwork; in that case, who owns the red Corvette? Your wife had higher earnings that you during your marriage; how destitute does your bank account look? The first step in getting answers to these kinds of questions is to determine which property is considered to be marital property and which are viewed as separate property. In the state of Texas, your property is considered to be separate property when:
- It was received as a gift or you inherited it
- You owned it before your marriage took place
- It was received for personal injuries that you sustained during the time you were married.
What that means is that the spouse of the individual in the above example who inherited a farm won’t be growing corn or raising chickens any time soon. So in other words, for many people, the issue will still not be clear-cut during a Texas divorce when it comes to what is considered to be separate property.
In general, anything in a Texas divorce that isn’t considered to be separate property is marital property. That means that since the wife’s income and Corvette are assets that were earned and used by both of the spouses after they were married, that those assets are considered to be marital property. If any separate property becomes commingled it can end up becoming marital property. Commingling occurs when assets end up becoming so mixed up with one another that it is impossible to distinguish what belongs to which spouse. Obviously, marital property is a much larger category compared to separate property. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that different states handle how this property is split in different ways. Most states are common property states. However, Texas is one of just nine states that are community property states. Notice how our original questions about who gets the house in a Texas divorce wasn’t really answered. That is due to the fact that Texas is one of 9 U.S. community property states.
Community Property: How Texas Splits The Property
Hospitality is something that Texans are famous for. For better for worse, the mentality of “what is mine is your” characterizes how property is split up in a community property state. So martial property in the state of Texas is the same thing as community property, with community property being split 50-50 between both spouses. Unless there is a written agreement that property is separate property when it is obtained during the marriage, all property that is obtained during the marriage is presumed to be community property in the state of Texas. So although the name of the divorced husband’s wasn’t on the paperwork for the Corvette, he still is entitled to getting “half” of the car in Texas – in a Texas divorce isn’t qualify as being separate property. And the divorced husband that doesn’t have a big salary wouldn’t have to worry about being able to afford to buy groceries. Who contributed the most money or whose name appeared on the least could potentially have a very different income in those scenarios in a common law state. So gets the house in a Texas divorce? Technically, each spouse gets half. However, somebody needs to get it, unless you are going to take a chainsaw to the house and literally split it in half. So knowing this reality, generally keeping the house has to be resolved in a similar way in a Texas divorce as separating property. If separate money was used for paying the downpayment on a house, then the house may be theirs. The outstanding debt might also be theirs. So when it comes to the riddle of who gets a house in a Texas divorce, the best answer is always, it depends! In these situations, it is always a smart idea to have a good Houston divorce lawyer working on your behalf.