Dwyer Law Firm, Attorney at Law

How Does Texas Law Define Community Property?


Texas defines community property as the property other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage.

So, you need to definition of Separate property to understand community property.

How Does Texas Law Define Separate Property?

Separate property consists of

  1. The property owned or claimed by a spouse before marriage;
  2. The property acquired by the spouse during marriage by gift, devise, or descent;
  3. The recovery for personal injuries sustained by the spouse during marriage, except any recovery for loss of earning capacity during marriage.

Do The Texas Courts Have The Discretion To Distribute The Property In Whatever Way It Believes Is Fair?

There is a presumption that all property possessed by either spouse during or on dissolution of marriage is presumed to be community property. Under Texas law, the standard for the division of the community property is that the court-ordered division of the estate of the parties is to be in a manner that the court deems just and right, having due regard for the rights of each party and any children of the marriage.

Are There Factors That Might Affect How Property/Assets Are Divided In A Divorce Such As Fault, Length of marriage, etc.?

There are many factors that the court may use to assist in arriving at a just and right division of the assets. The court may consider the spouses capacities and abilities, the benefits which the party not at fault would’ve derived from the continuation of the marriage, business opportunities, education, relative physical conditions, relative financial condition and obligations, disparity of ages, size of separate estates, and the nature of the property. Additionally, the court may consider the disparity in earning capacities or of incomes of the parties.

What Happens If I Own Some Property Such As A House Before The Marriage And Then Put The Property Into Joint Names During The Marriage? 

It depends a lot on the intention of the parties in what they are trying to accomplish. There is a presumption that property possessed by either spouse upon dissolution of the marriage is community property. Further, where one spouse furnishes separate property consideration and title is taken in both spouses name, a rebuttable presumption arises that the purchasing spouse intended to make a gift of a one half separate property interest to the other spouse. Where one spouse furnishes separate property consideration and title is taken in the name of the other spouse, a rebuttable presumption of gift arises. If a spouse owns separate property and during the marriage, puts the property in the joint names of the spouses, then the argument will be made that it is community property.

What If I Had Property Before The Marriage Or Attained Property During The Marriage Through Inheritance Or Gift And The Property Grows In Value During The Marriage?

The general rule is that the mere increase in value of property does not affect the character of the property as separate property. However, income on separate property is community property.

For more information on Community Property In Texas, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (972) 746-2805 today.

Rex Dwyer, Esq

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