If you find yourself considering divorce, it can feel like you have to learn a new language as you tried to decipher all of the legal jargon related to the dissolution of marriage in Texas. Some of the terms you will need to familiarize yourself with will have direct implications on the outcome of your divorce. 

Community property standards are a perfect example of something that seems simple but often confuses people. Under Texas law, unless you and your spouse file an uncontested divorce where you make your own agreement or you have a valid prenuptial agreement, the courts will apply the community property standard to the division of your assets and debts. 

Once you understand what community property means, you can better understand how the courts will probably split up your possessions and better direct your efforts to plan as you initiate divorce proceedings

Community property implies a shared ownership

When you marry, you and your spouse agree to join your lives, which includes your finances. During a marriage, everything you earn, purchase and accrue is community property that each spouse has a partial ownership interest in, regardless of who earns who or whose name is on a receipt or account.

Generally speaking, the courts will seek to divide your community property is part of your divorce proceedings. Still, there are some assets that you can protect from division in your divorce. Your separate property will include assets you had prior to marriage and inheritances you received, as well as gifts in many circumstances. Once you understand what of your possessions will be community property, you will have a better idea of how to plan for property division.