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Keeping Separate Property Separate

One of the most financially complex aspects of a divorce is property division. Untangling years, often decades, worth of jointly owned property is challenging. Even more challenging, however, is determining which property rightly belongs to only one member of the couple.

Separate property is anything you owned prior to marriage, anything you received as a gift or an inheritance during the marriage, and any portion of a personal injury recovery for anything that is not reimbursement to the community for expenses. Yes, even a gift received on your birthday, but that was paid for from the household checking account, is still your separate property.

Community property is anything that is not separate property. It is considered to be owned jointly and equally by the spouses and, thus, must be divided equitably by the court.

A Community Property Presumption

The Court begins with the presumption that all property owned by people in a divorce is community property unless one of the parties proves one or more items of property owned at the time of divorce are separate property.

The importance of proving something is your separate property is that it means the Court cannot take it away from you in the property division of the marital estate. That could be something as simple as a treasured Le Creuset Dutch oven, or an entire home.
But how do you prove it's separate?
Carol Wilson
Carol Wilson provides expertise, focus and compassion in times of family turmoil, having skillfully litigated and tried complex divorce, property division, and child custody cases for more than 30 years.

She has been Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization since 1992. Subscribe to the firm's newsletter here.

Join Me at the ASC Annual Luncheon

The Bridge Breast Network logo
Attorneys Serving the Community, a volunteer organization of Dallas legal professionals, hosts its 35th annual luncheon on Friday, June 3, at the Fairmont Dallas.
Actress Camryn Manheim is the keynote speaker. The event benefits The Bridge Breast Network, which provides access to diagnostic and treatment services for breast cancer to low income, uninsured, and underinsured individuals.

I have been a proud member of Attorneys Serving the Community for many years and was a sponsor of the 2022 Heart & Sole 5K, which, like the luncheon, raises funds for BBN.

If you'd like to join us, you can purchase tickets here. We'd love to see you there!

A Client's Perspective

"Through the most difficult time in my life, Carol was a strong, knowledgeable, compassionate and steady presence that helped me navigate the many challenges I faced. She was empathetic and caring but also tough, telling me plainly when I had to make difficult choices. She always returned my emails and phone calls promptly and made me feel like I was a priority. I'm really grateful that she and her team were there for me."
- M., a former client
The highest compliment I receive is your referrals. If you know someone in need of assistance in a family law matter, please don't hesitate to share my contact information: and 214-303-0142. Thank you!

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