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Divorce: the basics of community property

If you are considering divorce then that means you and your spouse must divide up your assets. This covers everything from bank accounts, to furniture, cars, houses and retirement accounts. Who owns what depends on a variety of factors. This article will go over those factors and how they may apply to you.

The rules that determine property division depend on that state in which you live. There are two types of marital property states: common law and community property. Texas is a community property state. Community property essentially means that everything acquired during the marriage is marital property unless it is specifically excluded. If something is marital property that means the couple owns it jointly and equally (or 50/50). This means that while you are married, your paycheck is technically 50 percent yours and 50 percent your spouse's.

However, any asset acquired before or after the marriage is separate property. Additionally, any inheritance is also separate property. Community property law also prohibits what you can do with marital property. For example, you and your spouse may choose to allocate property between yourselves as often as you like. But, neither you nor your spouse may gift or sell community property without the consent of the other spouse.

If you are going through a divorce then you may want to speak to a lawyer. As you can see, the division of community assets can get rather complicated. An attorney can go over your situation to help you figure out what is split and what is not. You and your spouse can work it out between yourselves but if something goes wrong then the entire process slows down. An attorney can watch your case to make sure that you are getting treated fairly.

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