Whether it’s outfitting the family home with new furniture or making investments, the average married couple in Texas probably end up amassing much more community property than they might realize. If a couple decides to divorce, all that community property has to be divided up. This can feel like a daunting task when someone sits down to evaluate just which property is community. Here is some guidance provided by Texas state law.

In Texas, anything that either spouse acquires during marriage is community property. There are exceptions to this rule, such as inheritances, family heirlooms and birthday gifts, which are considered separate property. Separate property is generally anything that a person acquired before marriage.

Even though all property acquired during marriage is jointly owned, it will not necessarily be evenly split during divorce. Property has to be split equitably, which means that each person will get a portion of the community property that is most fair. In some cases this could look like an equal 50/50 split. Others might be closer to something like 60/40. If one spouse acquired a property while living permanently in another state is just one of many factors that can be considered when deciding what is fair.

While many people feel very strongly that community property in Texas should be split evenly, this is not always the case. However, this does not mean that a person should settle for receiving less than what he or she deserves. It is very important for people to understand their rights during divorce and to assert them when necessary to avoid this outcome.