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Dividing property in a Texas divorce

Couples who file for legal separation or choose to terminate their marriage in Texas must deal with a myriad of issues before signing the final divorce settlement. One of the most challenging may be that of separating property that was accumulated during years of marriage. People may get attached to certain items and it can be emotional when it comes time to divide property, vehicles, furniture and possessions.

In Texas, all community property is separated equally, with half going to each spouse. Couples who wish to determine their own property division, however, may go through mediation and create their own plan. In addition to basic shared items, community property can include lottery winnings, income tax refunds, antique collections, travel rewards points, intellectual property and even cemetery plots.

There are some items that are considered separate and may stay with the original owner in a divorce. This includes property that either spouse owned prior to becoming married. For instance, if one spouse owned a house prior to the marriage and kept only his or her name on the title during the course of the marriage, that person may get to retain the full value of the property. If the owner revised the title during the marriage to include the other spouse’s name, it may now be considered community property and could be divided in the divorce settlement. Other property that may stay with the original owner includes gifts given to a spouse by a third-party, compensation received in a personal injury case or inheritance money.

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