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The distinction between separate property and community property is important in Texas because separate property can not be divided or awarded to the other party in a divorce case.Separate property is most commonly defined as something: a) owned prior to the marriage, b) acquired as a gift, or c) acquired by inheritance.
The judge must assume that everything the parties own at the time of divorce is community property and, therefore, can be divided. If either party claims something as separate property, that person must identify the item and prove that falls within one of the definitions of separate property.
Texas is a community property state. However, the rules about marital property are different in Texas than those of other community property states.The court can divide the community property in a "just and right" fashion - that means whatever the judge thinks is fair under the circumstances.