Texas is a community property state; therefore, the marital property definition includes community property — the property that the spouses acquired jointly during the marriage.
This property belongs to both spouses. All the assets that are included in this category are subject to equitable distribution during a divorce. Houses, cars and other assets acquired during the marriage are included in the category of marital property. Even investments that the spouse makes in a retirement fund or any other employment benefits plan during the course of the marriage are considered marital property.
How can I tell the difference between separate property and marital property?
Marital property is different from separate property, which is property acquired by a spouse outside the marriage. Non-marital property, therefore, can include the property that one spouse owned before the marriage or the spouse inherited.
If one of the spouses received an asset as a gift, then he or she will retain it as separate property, and it will not be considered community property. Similarly, if one spouse recovered money as a result of a personal injury judgment, then the spouse will retain that money as personal or separate property, and this will not be included in the community property.
Overall, the marital property definition is property that belongs jointly to the spouses, subject to distribution during a divorce. If you want to claim property acquired during the marriage as separate property, Texas law requires you to prove that it is indeed separate property. Gathering receipts to prove your claim to separate property is just one of the seven financial tips for those going through a divorce.
How is marital property distributed during a divorce?
In the event of a divorce, your marital possessions will be divided in an equitable manner under Texas law. The court will consider a number of factors, including the person at fault for the dissolution of the marriage, the difference in the earning power of the spouses, as well as child custody factors before making a decision. For instance, the spouse who retains custody of the child may have a more favorable distribution.
Although Texas is a community property state, there are other options available to persons who plan to get married and do not wish to have the property acquired during their marriage included as marital property. A premarital property agreement could address those concerns. Speak to a Dallas family lawyer at Warren & Migliaccio about how such an agreement can help in your situation.
To understand the distribution of marital property in your case, speak with a divorce lawyer in Dallas who can answer questions pertaining to your unique family situation. If you would like to research on your own, we offer a free eBook, Untying the Knot: Your Guide to Getting Divorced in Texas. Call Warren & Migliaccio at 888-584-9614.