What is Separate Property in Texas?

Published July 8, 2012 | By

This video explains the basics of separate property in Texas.  If you prefer, you can read the transcript below:

TRANSCRIPT

My name is Scott Morgan, I am a board certified family law attorney. In this video I am going to give an overview of separate property in Texas.

Texas is a community property state. In a Texas divorce case all property owned by either spouse is presumed to be community property. The court is required to divide the community property in a fair and just manner.

However, you can rebut this presumption if you can prove that an asset meets the definition of separate property. In that case the asset is confirmed as your separate property and not factored into the community property division. The court has no authority to award one parties separate property to the other spouse.

Under the right circumstances this can make a huge difference in the overall outcome of a property division.

So what is separate property? There are three types. First, certain types of personal injury recoveries are separate property, but this is quite rare. Second, gifts and inheritances are separate property. Finally, property that was owned by a spouse prior to marriage is that parties separate property.

A common complication is that separate property is not always easy to prove.

You must prove that an asset is your separate property by clear and convincing evidence. This evidentiary standard is significantly higher than the usual preponderance of evidence standard.

Additionally tracing the asset back to its origin can also be challenging.This is especially true with financial assets that have mutated and grown and moved into different accounts during the marriage.

The bottom line is that if you’re getting divorced and have significant assets that you believe might be separate property, you should get a very good family law attorney to help you prove those claims.

I hope this video has been helpful and informative. If you have any questions comments or suggestions for future videos please feel free to comment below.

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