In general, separate property is property you acquired before marriage, that was gifted to you during the marriage, or that you inherited during the marriage. One common scenario occurs when one spouse purchases a home before marriage. If the spouse who purchased the home can produce the deed to the property and the settlement statement from the closing showing he or she paid 100% of the down payment, the home will most likely be considered separate property. The home is the separate property of the spouse who purchased it before marriage and it cannot be awarded to the other spouse.
The marital property division attorneys at The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, are experienced in handling property disputes such as confirmation of separate property. Our law firm is well qualified to represent you. Contact us if you are located throughout the entire greater Houston area, including: Northwest Houston, Champions, Spring, Tomball, The Woodlands and Conroe. We handle cases for clients seeking legal representation pertaining to separate property issues that arise in your divorce.
There are three types of marital property
All marital assets can be characterized as one of these types, or a combination of them. In Texas, the court will presume that all property the spouses own is community property. It is up to the spouse claiming property as their separate property to overcome the presumption by proving clearly to the court the separate property character. The advantage of an asset being characterized as your separate property is that the judge cannot award it to your spouse. This becomes particularly important in high asset divorce and complex property division cases.
Claim for Reimbursement
While separate property of one spouse cannot be awarded to the other spouse, there are circumstances that give rise to a claim for reimbursement. A claim for reimbursement can arise when one marital estate assists in paying for property belonging to another marital estate. In the home purchase example, if the spouse purchased the residence before marriage but once the parties were married the salary income of the spouse earned during the marriage is used to make the mortgage payments, the amount paid down on the mortgage can raise the issue of a reimbursement claim. The community estate may be entitled to be reimbursed for paying down the mortgage debt on the home.
Characterizing all of your marital property as either separate property or community property is vital to fairly dividing your assets during a divorce. Consulting an experienced and knowledgeable attorney is the only way to ensure your assets are properly characterized before they are divided or confirmed as separate property.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce - The Just and Right Division
- Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
- Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
- What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
- High Net Worth Divorce / High Asset Divorce
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.