Characterizing property as “community” or “separate” can be one of the most critical aspects of the divorce process. Texas law defines separate property as property that was acquired before marriage, property that was acquired by gift or inheritance, or property that was required for personal injuries sustained by one spouse during the marriage. All other property that is acquired by either spouse during marriage is community property.
Community property belongs equally and entirely to both spouses; however, separate property belongs to only one of the spouses. This distinction is critical because a judge can only divide property that is characterized as community property.