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Texas property division and out-of-state assets

On Behalf of | Mar 4, 2024 | High-Asset Divorce

Property division is often a contentious aspect of a divorce involving high-value assets and wealth. To help ensure a fair outcome, you need to understand the different types of property and how courts treat them in a divorce.

Entering property distribution proceedings knowing what is and is not possible under community property law can help you protect what is rightfully yours.

Community property – a refresher

In Texas, all property acquired during the marriage by either spouse, with some exceptions, is considered community property and subject to roughly equal distribution between spouses. Examples include:

  • Income: Salaries, wages, bonuses and commissions
  • Assets: Real estate, vehicles, investments and luxury goods

Debts such as mortgages, loans and credit card balances are also subject to this division.

As mentioned, certain assets may be exempt from community property law. Assets acquired as a gift or inheritance usually remain separate property, as do those owned before marriage or acquired with separate funds during marriage.

Property acquired in another state

It may be easiest to explain “quasi-community property” with an example. Say you and your spouse once bought a home while you lived in a state with equitable property division laws rather than community property.

If you now live in and are getting a divorce in Texas, your home in another state, if you still own it, would probably fall under community property law. In other words, property bought elsewhere that would have been community property if bought in Texas is distributed under community property law in Texas divorces.

Explaining these assets is complicated enough, but dividing them fairly in a divorce is even more complex. Understanding different forms of property and how it may be at risk is just one step. Getting experienced legal guidance is a beneficial next step, especially in a high-asset divorce involving complex property.