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“Community property” in Texas refers to property and assets acquired by a married couple during their marriage, with some exceptions. When a couple decides to divorce, only community property is divided. In Texas, the division of community property is governed by community property laws, and it is typically divided as equally as possible. Here's how the process of dividing community property in Texas works in most cases:

  1. Identify Community Property: The first step is to identify and list all the assets and property that are considered community property. This includes income earned, real estate acquired, bank accounts, investments, and other assets obtained during the marriage. Property acquired before the marriage, through inheritance, or as a gift is typically considered separate property and is not subject to equal division.
  2. Valuation of Assets: The value of each community property asset is determined, either by agreement between the spouses or through an appraisal, if necessary. Valuation is important to ensure an equitable division.
  3. Characterization of Assets: Some property may be considered partially community and partially separate. For example, if one spouse owned a home before marriage and continued to make mortgage payments during the marriage, it may be considered partially separate property and partially community property.
  4. Equitable Division: While community property is generally divided equally, this does not mean that every asset will be split down the middle. The court will strive to make a fair and just division, considering factors such as the relative earning capacity of each spouse, the size of the estate, and the best interests of any children involved.
  5. Possession and Control: In some cases, one spouse may be awarded certain community property assets (e.g., the marital home), while the other spouse receives assets of equivalent value. This is known as a "just and right" division.
  6. Settlement Agreements: Spouses can agree on the division of their community property through a marital settlement agreement, which can be submitted to the court for approval.
  7. Court Intervention: If the spouses cannot reach an agreement, the court will make the final determination on the division of community property based on Texas law and principles of fairness.

It's important to note that community property laws can be complex, and various exceptions may apply, especially in cases involving separate property, commingled assets, or special circumstances. Consulting with an experienced family law attorney in Texas is advisable when navigating the process of dividing community property during divorce to ensure that your rights and interests are protected and that the division is equitable and compliant with the law.

If you have questions, we have answers.

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