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What you should know about Texas community property laws

If you are considering divorce, you may be wondering what will happen to your marital assets. Which one of you will keep the house in San Marcos? What will you do with the property you just bought in Wimberly? What happens to the cars, the furniture, your retirement accounts and even your time share in Cozumel?

Before you start making a list of everything you want to keep, you should find out more about how Texas divorce courts divide marital property. Unlike most other states, Texas is a community property state.

Community property

In the Lone Star State, the court generally views anything that you and your husband acquired during your marriage as community marital property. This means that if you divorce, the court will divide the property equally between the two of you. However, if you have prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, it could supersede the 50/50 split.

Inception of title

In general, property obtains its status at the moment of purchase or acquisition. In Texas, this is the "inception of title rule." This means that the court will take into consideration how you come to possess the property without any regard as to what happened to it after that moment. This means that if you inherited a lake cabin on Canyon Lake and your family used it on the weekends, the court might rule that it will revert back to you.

Separate property

It is likely that not all of the property you acquired during your marriage falls into the community property category. Certain property, such as the inheritance in the above example, is separate in the eyes of the court. Other property that is typically separate includes gifts, family heirlooms any anything you owned prior to your marriage.

If you are considering divorce, it is important to understand the marital property laws that could affect your settlement. There are many factors that might influence the decisions you make in regard to property division. Take the time to examine the various assets you own and the consequences of keeping them, selling them or letting your spouse take them.

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