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Separate Property

Separate property in Texas refers to property and assets that are not considered community property and is not subject to division in a divorce. Texas law recognizes various categories of separate property, including:

  1. Property Owned Before Marriage: Any property or assets that one spouse owned before entering into the marriage are typically considered separate property. This includes real estate, bank accounts, investments, and personal belongings acquired prior to the marriage.
  2. Property Acquired During Marriage but Designated as Separate: Even if an asset is obtained during the marriage, it can still be classified as separate property if both spouses agree in writing that it should retain its separate property status. This written agreement is often achieved through a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement.
  3. Inherited Property: Any property or assets received as an inheritance by one spouse are usually classified as separate property. However, it is crucial to keep inheritance assets separate from community property to maintain their separate status.
  4. Gifts to One Spouse: Gifts given specifically to one spouse during the marriage are typically considered that spouse's separate property.
  5. Recovery for Personal Injuries: Compensation received for personal injuries (e.g., from a lawsuit or insurance claim) is generally regarded as separate property in Texas, regardless of when the injuries occurred or when the recovery was obtained.

It's important to note that while these are common categories of separate property in Texas, there can be exceptions and complexities. Commingling of assets, transmutations (changing the character of property), and other factors can impact the determination of separate property. Additionally, the burden of proof typically falls on the spouse claiming that property is separate, so keeping detailed records and documentation is essential.
In the event of a divorce, the court will carefully consider the nature of property and evidence provided to determine whether an asset is community property or separate property. If there is a dispute over the classification of assets, consulting with an experienced family law attorney is advisable to protect your rights and interests during the property division process.

If you have questions, we have answers.

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