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What is marital property?

Marital property consists of all property that a spouse brings into a marriage or acquires during t the marriage. All marital property is either community property or separate property.

Generally, separate property is:

a. Property that a spouse owned prior to marriage;
b. Property that a spouse inherited;
c. Property that a spouse received as a gift;
d. Property recovered for personal injury; and
e. Property that the spouses agreed would be separate property.

Community property is:

a. Property acquired during the marriage;
b. Property that the spouses agreed would be community property; and
c. Property acquired by a spouse while living in another state if that property would have been community property in Texas.

During a divorce it is critical to determine what property is community and what property is separate because the court must divide all community property and confirm each spouse's separate property. It will be presumed that all property is community property unless one spouse proves by clear and convincing evidence that a piece of property is his or her separate property. Is important to keep in mind that a court can only divide community property and does not have the authority to divide a spouse's separate property.

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