One more thing on Property Liability – My goal for these weekly blogs has been to break down one family law subject at a time into bite-size pieces that everyone can understand and refer back to when necessary. It is not always easy to do that given the nature of some topics, and our last blog on property liability was a perfect example.
I feel like there was a lot of information there to digest, and still plenty more that could have been added.
For those who read that blog, the main thing you need to remember is that property liability is attached to property, not individuals. So if one spouse is personally liable for a credit card debt incurred during marriage, certain types of property can be seized to satisfy that debt.
Examples of the types of property included in this conversation are:
- Sole-management community property
- Joint-management community property
- Separate property
There are different rules that come into play from there, including a very detailed process on how property liability is legally determined per the Texas Family Code. If you haven’t read that blog, you should.
There are a few more points I want to add, however, starting with the duration of property liability.
Essentially, property remains subject to execution – or seizure – as long as both the debt and the property exist. Furthermore, a creditor’s right to execute or seize marital property does not go away upon death or divorce. So … if one spouse is awarded a certain property in a divorce case, a creditor can still seek what’s called a writ of execution on that property to satisfy a pre-existing debt.
This is true even though the property in question became that spouse’s separate property after the divorce. Once liability attaches to marital property, a judgement creditor can execute a judgement against either spouse’s property – even if one spouse is innocent.
From there, a court has discretion to determine the order in which community and separate property is sold to satisfy a judgment creditor. In determining the order of execution, the court must consider the facts and circumstances that created the property’s liability.
That should cover the main highlights on property liability, and next week we will move on to a different family law topic that I’m sure you will enjoy. At the end of the day, however, if there is something you need more clarification on from a previous blog – including this one – do not hesitate to contact one of our knowledgeable staff members at Nelson Law Group, PC.
We are happy to help, and offer guidance in any way we can.