Every state has its own unique laws regarding marriage and divorce. Texas is one of a few states that treats marital assets like community property, which impacts how the courts split up your possessions and debts. Both you and your spouse likely have an interest in most of the major possessions purchased during the marriage.

Predicting the outcome of the asset division process is very difficult if the couple doesn’t have an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement on record to guide the process. The better you understand community property laws and how they affect asset division, the easier it will be for you to plan for your divorce and your future after it.

What does community property mean?

The term community property implies that the married couple has a communal interest in the assets and debts they acquired during their marriage. Simply put, community property standards make everything you earn or buy during your marriage shared property between both spouses.

The courts will look at a number of different factors from your marriage, including how long it lasted, your individual earning potentials and the custody of any minor children, when deciding what is a fair and reasonable way to split your community assets. Some of your assets may not be part of that community property pool that gets split up in the divorce.

Separate property, which includes inheritances, gifts from outside your marriage and assets acquired prior to marriage, is typically exempt from division in divorce proceedings. However, in the event of commingling, where a separate asset gets treated as a marital asset, the courts may decide to divide those assets as well.