Dividing marital property is often one of the most difficult tasks to tackle while going through the divorce process. Texas is a community property state, meaning all marital property is equally divided in half between spouses.
Marital property involves all assets and items collected during years of marriage. Before property division can take place, however, both parties must disclose all marital property in their possession.
What is marital property?
When thinking of marital property, homes, vehicles and furniture often come to mind. Marital property, however, includes even intangible items, including the following:
- Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks
- Travel rewards miles and other loyalty points
- Stock options, 401k plans, retirement accounts and money market accounts
- Term life insurance policies
- Memberships to exclusive country clubs and golf courses
- Collections, such as wine, antiques, coins, classic cars and jewelry
Community property also includes gifts spouses gave to one another during the marriage. If either spouse lent money to a third-party during the marriage, the court may divide that money once it is repaid.
Is all property marital?
The court may consider some property separate, which may stay with the original owner. This includes property accumulated before getting married, gifts given to either spouse by a third party during the marriage, inheritance and money received from personal injury compensation.
In order to stay separate, however, the owner should not combine the property or money with marital funds. For instance, if personal inheritance money is deposited in a joint banking account, it may become marital property.
Knowing what marital property is and how it is divided in a divorce can help those going through divorce.