In divorce proceedings in Texas, courts adhere to a community property-based approach to dividing real property, financial resources, and other assets. Under this approach, everything that people acquire over the course of the marriage is the shared property of both spouses. However, there are a few notable exceptions to this standard.
Here are some examples of assets that may fall outside of the scope of divisible community property.
If an individual receives something from a spouse or another person as a gift, a court is probably going to deem it to be separate property. This is generally true of financial gifts, but it usually does not apply to bonuses that a person receives in relation to his or her employment. Proving whether something was a gift may be difficult when the only supporting evidence is circumstantial.
Texas law treats property or funds that an individual inherits as a gift. Regardless of whether someone receives an inheritance before or during a marriage, it remains their personal property.
Compensation for personal injuries
Monetary settlements or court-ordered awards for damages arising out of personal injury claims are not community property. The rationale is that this type of compensation is intended to benefit the individual who sustained the injury, not other members of his or her household.
Ultimately, it is advantageous for divorcing spouses to attempt to reach a mutual agreement about how to divide property. Working towards an equitable solution can make procedural logistics easier to navigate and allow people to exercise more control over the outcome of divorce proceedings.