Texas is a community property state. All property acquired during the marriage that is not separate property is community property. Each spouse shares an undivided one-half interest in all community property. Examples of community property include wages earned during the marriage, retirement benefits earned during the marriage, real property purchased during the marriage, and any furniture or personal property purchased during the marriage.
Under the Texas Family Code, all property possessed by either spouse is presumed to be community property in a divorce. Either party can rebut that presumption by establishing by “clear and convincing evidence” that certain property qualifies as separate.
Property is considered the separate property of one spouse if: (1) the spouse owned the property before marriage; (2) he or she received the property as a gift during the marriage; or (3) he or she inherited the property during the marriage. However, any income earned on separate property is considered community property.
Characterizing community and separate property can be complicated if the parties have a lot of assets and one or both had assets prior to marriage. However, an experienced family law attorney can help wade through the property issues to help determine how everything should be properly categorized.