Determining Community Property Laws in Houston, Texas
What is Community Property?
Texas is a “community property” state. What this actually means can be more complicated than it sounds. Basically, Texas community property (also referred to as marital property) refers to the identification of assets, debts and liabilities in the “community estate” – in other words those jointly owned by the husband and wife together.
Community property assets include money, stock, bonds, 401(k)s, IRAs, undeveloped real estate, developed real estate, cars, boats, houses, condominiums, furnishings, jewelry and other items of value received or earned during the marriage.
Texas Community estate liabilities include debts or other obligations incurred during the marriage including credit card debt, student loan debt, mortgages, car notes, leases, boat loans, home equity lines of credit, 401(k) loans, “payday” loans, other bank loans, or other secured or unsecured financial obligations.
If you are concerned about protecting your rights in a complex Texas community property dispute, you should turn to an experienced Houston divorce lawyer at The Larson Law Office for guidance. Call us today at (713) 221-9088 for a free case review.
Division of Texas Community Property in Divorce
Absent an agreement between the parties such as a pre-nuptial agreement or post-nuptial agreement, all assets and liabilities obtained during the marriage are community property. However, if an asset was received by a spouse as a gift or inheritance during the marriage, that asset is presumed to be the separate property of the spouse who received the gift or inheritance.
Generally, any assets or liabilities obtained by a spouse before the marriage are that spouse’s separate property. A spouse’s separate property is generally not subject to division by a divorce court.
However, it can often become more complicated. For example, if either community property or one spouse’s separate property contributes to the maintenance, support or repairs of the other spouse’s separate property, a claim of reimbursement for those contributions may arise in some circumstances.
This is only one example of many possible marital property issues that often arise in divorce cases. As Houston Divorce attorneys, we will help you identify issues pertaining to community property and separate property in your divorce.