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What is Community Property?

 In Blog, Family Law

What is Community Property?

In the State of Texas, there are only two types of marital property, community and separate. The Family Code defines any property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during the marriage as community property. Any property owned by the spouses prior to marriage is their separate property. Each spouse can claim their separate property during a divorce. The division of community property, however, can be a bit more complicated.

How does community property get divided?

The Court is generally in charge of dividing community property between spouses, unless the parties agree beforehand on how to divide their community property. The Family Code states that the division of community property must be “just and right”. However, the division is not always 50/50. There are several factors that the Court takes into consideration, such as: which spouse has custody of the couple’s children, the income of both spouses, the education or employability of both spouses, the size of the spouses’ separate estates, etc.

What methods does the Court use in dividing community property?

When dividing community property, the Court can award items outright to a single spouse. This is one of the easier methods of division, but it does not work for all property. Some things, such as a car or house, cannot simply be split in half. The Court uses multiple methods in order to equitably divide property between spouses. One of the common methods is to award a money judgement to a spouse. In essence, this causes one spouse to make a payment to the other as part of the division of the marital estate. Another method is to sell the item and split the sale proceeds between both spouses. As always, the goal of the Court is to make the best decision for the sake of fairness.

For more information regarding community property or other family law matters, please feel free to contact Paul Goetz of The Cox Law Firm at (817) 510-2817.

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