How Divorce Affects Community Vs. Separate Property

The issue of community vs. separate property can greatly impact the division of assets in the event of a divorce. Separate property is that which an individual has before entering a marriage, and it can include inheritances, prizes, or legal awards for injury, although the latter may be adjusted to compensate for lost income as a result of an accident or injury. Gifts given to a single member of a marriage may also be considered separate property. Community property is that which a couple accumulates during the marriage and includes work wages and anything the couple purchases together, such as homes, property, cars, art, and other major purchases.

Texas law states that the division of community property and accrued debt must be fair and equitable. Dividing community vs. separate property in the event of a divorce can be confusing for couples, because assets such as retirement benefits and pensions, employment bonuses and profit-sharing payouts, and insurance policies can all present difficulties during negotiations. In the event of the death of a spouse, community property is awarded to the surviving spouse, but if the deceased spouse has surviving children from a previous marriage, the children may be entitled to up to 50% of those assets.

Managing the division of community and separate property can be difficult for both parties, especially in the event of a bitter divorce. If you are uncertain about property laws as they apply in Texas, consult an experienced family law attorney to ease your concerns. A lawyer with experience in such situations can explain how existing community vs. separate property laws pertain to your situation, and they can advocate for you in front of a judge or help you draw up an estate plan or postnuptial agreement to protect you and your children in the event of a divorce or death. Contact an attorney at Espronceda Law today for help with your community vs. separate property issues.


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