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What happens to your personal collections during a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 26, 2024 | Blog, Property Division

Divorce can impact many areas of your life, including the fate of your personal collections. Whether you collect classic cars, first edition books or rare coins, hanging onto cherished and valuable possessions is something you will need to think about.

Understanding how state law approaches the division of personal property during divorce helps individuals navigate this challenging process.

Community property principles

In Texas, divorce follows the principle of community property, which deems most assets acquired during the marriage jointly owned. Personal collections acquired during the marriage are generally treated as community property, irrespective of which spouse physically owns them. This includes items like artwork, antiques and hobby-related collections.

Separate property distinctions

While community property is the default in the state, there are exceptions. Personal collections acquired before the marriage or as a gift or inheritance during the marriage may be separate property. However, it is wise to maintain clear documentation and evidence to establish the separate nature of such collections.

Equitable division in practice

Even under community property principles, courts strive to achieve a fair and equitable division of assets during divorce. This does not necessarily mean a strict 50-50 split, but rather a fair division based on various factors, including each spouse’s earning capacity, contributions to the marriage and needs.

Open communication

For a smooth division of personal collections in a divorce, it is helpful for the people involved to talk openly. Understanding the sentimental value and attachment to certain items helps make negotiations easier. The parties can agree on how to split the collections without going to court, giving them more control over the final decision.

Consideration for children’s needs

In cases involving children, it is important to consider their needs and attachments when dividing personal collections. Strive to prioritize shared items that contribute to the children’s well-being or sense of stability, recognizing the importance of maintaining a supportive environment during the divorce.

Despite living under a community property regime, losing all or part of your treasured collection during a divorce is not a foregone conclusion.


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