Under the Texas Family Code, assets acquired by either spouse during marriage classify as community property. A divorce court judge generally acknowledges that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse each have a right to half of your community property’s value.
As noted by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, marital property may consist of homes, cars and businesses that you acquired while married. These assets may require an equal division. The court may also split salary bonuses earned during your marriage.
Which assets may classify as my separate property?
The Lone Star State considers gifts or inheritances as a spouse’s separate asset and not subject to division. Civil lawsuits awarding damages for pain and suffering may also qualify as separate assets. Jury awards for loss of income, however, generally classify as community property.
The court may require proof that an asset reflects your separate property. A receipt showing you obtained the asset before your marriage may suffice. An official record noting the date you added your name to a title might also serve as evidence of separate property.
How may the court view commingled assets?
Some couples inadvertently mix their separate assets. An inheritance, for example, that you received may have covered the cost of improvements to your shared marital home.
The court may need to trace the dates of your inheritance and when you and your spouse purchased the home. It may then determine how much of your separate money contributed to your home’s equity. In some cases, a soon-to-be ex-spouse may need to repay the funds in addition to half of the home’s equity value.
Certain types of funds or financial assets may reflect separate property and do not require division. If your separate funds contributed to purchasing or improving a home, however, you may have a right to receive a greater portion of its equity value.