At the time of divorce, your property is characterized as one of three types: (1) community property; (2) separate property; or (3) mixed community and separate property. Any property considered “separate property” is not divided between spouses in a divorce; however, “community property” is typically divided between spouses when they divorce. “Mixed community and separate property” is also divided in a divorce, but only the community portion is subject to division.
- Community property – All property acquired by you or your spouse during the marriage is presumed to be community property. While there are exceptions, a good rule of thumb is that any property either you or your spouse obtained during the marriage is community and subject to division in a divorce.
- Separate Property:
- Property owned before the marriage
- Property received as a gift during the marriage
- Property received as a result of inheritance
- Any recovery for personal injuries sustained during the marriage except for the recovery for lost wages – recovery for lost wages in a personal injury case is considered community property
- Student loan debt
- Mixed Community & Separate Property – Property acquired during the marriage, but funds acquired before marriage are used for the purchase of said property (i.e. married couple buys a house but uses one spouse’s savings accumulated before marriage for the down payment).
You may still be wondering–is the engagement or wedding ring considered community property and who will keep the rings?
Most of the time, wedding rings fall under the gift category and belong solely to the spouse the ring was “gifted” to. It is very rare to see a wedding ring value considered in the parties’ property division; although, it is not uncommon to see a spouse try to include it or ask for the ring to be returned. The success rate for that actually occurring is extremely low.
We are skilled at determining if your property is legally considered your separate property, community property or mixed property. Many times, a divorcing couple will own all 3 types of property. We also evaluate debts to determine which party should be responsible for those debts after the divorce.
To arrange a consultation, please call 281-970-9005 or contact us by email.