Texas follows a community property model when dividing marital property in a divorce case. This means that all property accumulated during the marriage is divided equally in half between you and your spouse. Yet, not all types of property are marital and some property may be ineligible for division in a divorce.
According to Texas statutes, separate property, or non-marital property, includes property and assets that were acquired before and after the marriage. For example, if you owned a house prior to the marriage and the title of the home was kept only in your name, the house would remain in your possession even after the divorce is finalized.
Other types of marital property include the following:
- Gifts given to you during the marriage by a third-party
- Any inheritance money you receive from a friend or family member
- Compensation awarded due to a personal injury sustained before, during or after the marriage
- Stocks, money market accounts or retirement plans earned prior to the marriage
Keep in mind that in order to remain ‘separate,’ property and assets must remain independent from all marital property. If separate property becomes mixed with marital property at any time, it risks losing its separate status. For instance, if you receive inheritance money from a deceased relative, the assets are separate property and remain in your possession. However, if you deposit that money into a joint bank account with your spouse’s name attached, the money becomes marital and may be divided in the divorce settlement.