Community and Non Community Property

Dallas Divorce Lawyers

Dividing Marital Wealth in a Community Property State

In an article designating her as a Super Lawyer and one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Texas, Texas Monthly noted that, "A math whiz, Diana Friedman excels at complicated property issues that can intimidate many people, including family partnerships, trusts, estates, subchapter S corporations, and family limited partnerships." An important part of resolving property division in a divorce is determining what is community property and what is separate property.

At GoransonBain, PLLC. we have considerable experience with the complex financial issues of divorce. We know how to identify, value, and trace community and separate property. To discuss your concerns about community property and property division in your divorce, contact our Dallas law firm.

An Equal Split of Community Property (Marital Property) in Texas?

Different states have different laws which govern how marital property and assets are divided in a divorce. In community property states, all property purchased during the marriage, and all wealth and assets accumulated during the marriage are community property. Community property (also referred to as marital property) is divided equally between the husband and wife in the event of a divorce . In equitable distribution states, the marital estate is not necessarily divided equally, but is divided fairly based upon many factors.

Texas is a community property state. This means that, in most cases, all property acquired by either spouse during the marriage will be divided equally in a divorce. It doesn't matter whose name is on the title to the house or the stock certificate. If the house or stock was purchased after the couple married, it is presumed to be community property — and subject to equal division.

Property which was owned or inherited prior to the marriage is considered separate property and is not subject to division in a divorce. Property is presumed to be community property, unless you can show that the asset was yours before marriage, or was purchased with money you had prior to getting married.

Tracing Separate Property

When separate property (also referred to as non-marital property) gets commingled in a joint account, or is used to purchase a house, it can be tricky to prove that the property is still separate property. Our divorce lawyers know how to work with financial experts to trace separate property. Using receipts, deposit and withdrawal records, account statements, and other financial documents, it is possible to trace separate property so that it is not subject to division in the divorce.

Increase in Value of Separate Property Due to Spouse's Contribution?

Another common scenario in property division involves a business or professional practice which was owned prior to the marriage. In some cases, the other spouse may have a claim that the increased value of the business is due, at least in part, to his or her contributions of time, tools and talent.

For example, a business may have increased in value because of the other spouse's input of raising kids, taking care of the home, doing the bookkeeping etc. By obtaining a current business valuation and comparing it with the value of the business at the time of marriage, you can calculate how much the business value has increased during the marriage. In these types of complicated cases, you almost always need a forensic accountant to help delineate what reimbursement is due for economic contributions by the other spouse.

Allow us to use our expertise to help you with your difficult community property and separate property tracing issues. Please call (214) 373-7676 or contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our divorce attorneys at our uptown Dallas law office.

8350 North Central Expressway Suite 1700 Dallas, Texas 75206 214-373-7676-TEL 214-373-9959-FAX Email Us