John and Kari are getting divorced, and one of the many questions they have is if Texas is a community property state and what that means for them. After all, they have been married for 26 years and accumulated a lot of property and assets. Neither wants to waste time-fighting over any of it, though they want to ensure that every decision is made fairly.
To answer their question, Texas is one of nine states that use the community-property system. With this system, most property or belongings acquired during a marriage are jointly owned and divided upon divorce, annulment, or death. Each marriage is different, though, and dictates which factors should be considered in a divorce case. A court has broad discretion when dividing a community estate and generally considers a number of factors.
A few examples include:
- Each spouse’s ability to support themselves
- If one spouse happens to be at fault for the breakup of the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- The nature of the couple’s property
Marital property law governs the property rights of married people.
A reason why lawmakers opted to have different property laws for married and single people was to provide added support and protection while also recognizing equality and promoting fairness between husbands and wives. For years, laws favored husbands in the management and ownership of property. As society progressed, laws were changed to reflect equal ownership of property.
While Texas is a community property state, property is characterized as separate, community, or mixed:
Defined as property acquired or created during the marriage by either spouse, with each spouse sharing equal ownership. In a divorce, all assets and liabilities identified and characterized as the spouses’ community property must be divided between the spouses.
Is property that a party owned before the marriage, was received by a party as an inheritance, or was acquired by the party by gift. Because the property is the party’s separate property, a court cannot legally split ownership.
Property is considered mixed when it consists of both separate and community property. For example, when both separate and community funds are used to purchase property.
There is a lot that goes into marital property law, especially how these laws affect marriages from state to state. No two states use a particular system (community property or common law) in the exact same way, so it is important to have a conversation with a knowledgeable and compassionate family law attorney here at Nelson Law Group, PC.
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Give our knowledgeable staff here at Nelson Law Group, PC, a call if you have any further questions regarding this or any other issue. Our staff is always available. Give us a call today! For more information about Brett A. Nelson, click here.