How to tell the difference between separate and marital property

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2021 | Property Division |

Divorce is often a stressful situation, especially when it comes to separating marital property you have amassed through the years. Also referred to as community property, martial items can be difficult to divide, as you may have become attached to certain possessions.

While you may be able to negotiate the terms of asset division amicably, it is helpful to understand the difference between marital and separate property.

What is marital property?

When you think of marital property, you may think of the family vehicles, home and bank account contents. Yet, community property consists of much more. During the divorce process, each party is required to disclose all property and assets in their possession, according to Texas state statutes. The judge will then determine who is entitled to what in the final settlement.

Keep in mind all of the following items, which is also classified as marital property:

  • Federal and state income tax refunds
  • Lottery ticket winnings
  • Intellectual property, such as trademarks, copyrights and patents
  • Retirement policies, stocks, 401k plans and term life insurance policies
  • Expensive collections, such as coins, art, wine, antiques and classic cars
  • Frequent flier miles and rewards points

Marital items also include country club memberships and gifts you and your spouse have exchanged during the marriage.

What is separate property?

Some property may be ineligible for division with your spouse, and may stay in your sole possession after the divorce is finalized. This separate property consists of personal injury compensation you may have received, inheritance money as well as gifts you have received from a third party before, during and after your marriage.