If you are going through a divorce in the State of Texas, determining which property is marital property and which is separate property is not always as straightforward as you might think. In general, the property that either of you brings into the marriage – and keeps separate – remains your separate property. Property that you acquire during the course of your marriage, on the other hand, is generally considered marital property – to be divided in a manner that is just and right. There are several exceptions to these guidelines, and when one spouse gives the other a gift of property, it can change things considerably.
Exceptions to the Rule
Property that either of you acquires during the course of your marriage is generally considered marital – or community – property. There are, however, several important exceptions:
- Property that either of you personally inherits (Learn more about divorce and inheritance)
- Property that either of you receives as a personal gift
- Property that either of you purchases in your own name with your own separate funds
- Property that you both agree is separate property – and that you both attest to in a written document
To prove that property is actually separate property, you must have clear and convincing evidence to back it up.
Gifts Between Spouses
A gift between spouses can come in any number of forms, including in a deed to property. The circumstances involved, however, play a critical role. While the variations can be nearly endless, there are several situations that are most common:
- If your spouse owned a house when you were married, that house is his or her separate property. If your spouse named the house to you in a deed, it will likely be recognized as a gift to you – making the house your separate property.
- If your spouse owned the house when you married but names it as your shared community property in the deed, the deed remains a gift to you – but in this situation, you retain a separate interest over half of the house. This scenario also applies if your spouse buys a home during the course of your marriage using his or her own separate funds.
- If you and your spouse buy a house during the course of your marriage, it is marital property. If your spouse, however, provides you with a deed that names you as the sole owner of that house, the deed will be considered a gift to you – making the house your separate property.
If You Have Divorce Concerns, You Need an Experienced Central Texas Divorce Attorney
When it comes to divorce, your primary concern – after child custody arrangements – is naturally the division of your marital property. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Central Texas understands how critical this is to you and your children’s future, and he is committed to helping you. For more information, please contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.