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Separate Property and Tracing
When a divorce happens, one spouse may believe they own separate property. If the property is valuable, a separate property claim can drastically affect property division for both parties. Our experienced team of family lawyers can help evaluate whether a separate property claim may exist in your Texas divorce.
Central Texas Lawyers Experienced with Proving Property Claims
Texas is a community property state. Texas law presumes that all property owned by the spouses belongs to them both equally. There are only a few types of separate property: property owned before marriage, inherited property, property received by gift, and certain personal injury proceeds. If a spouse owns separate property, a court may not give that property to the other spouse.
The spouse claiming separate property must have proof of ownership dating back to when they first obtained the property. For instance, if the separate property is a house, a deed would show that the spouse bought the house before marriage. The proof becomes more complicated if the separate property is in a retirement account or a bank account. In that instance, we use a concept called tracing to prove which property currently in the account existed at the time of marriage.
Whether you are the spouse making the separate property claim or the spouse opposing it, our experienced team can help you understand the legal requirements relating to separate property.
Protecting the Community Estate
Even when a spouse can prove that he or she owns separate property, the work may not be done. If the spouses pay down the mortgage on a separate property house during the marriage, Texas law may allow reimbursement for those payments. Other similar claims include reimbursement for improvements to property or payment of debts owed before the marriage.
To protect these interests, a lawyer needs to understand possible claims that exist. Our knowledgeable and experienced team is here to help with your claims relating to separate and community property.
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