Protecting separate property from marital property when it comes to divorce is very important. This is because, in Texas, marital property is considered to be owned by both parties and is part of the divisible estate, while separate property is not. Determining what property is marital and what property is separate may seem straightforward, but, in actuality, it can become confusing.
Talk to W Tyler Moore, firstname.lastname@example.orgFor example, sometimes separate property "co-mingles," that is, it combines with marital property to the extent that it is no longer possible to identify the separate from the marital property. When this happens, the once separate property will generally then be considered marital property for property division purposes. Contact email@example.com. 713-322-3950, 5005 Woodway, Suite 201, Houston,TX77056. Board Certified in Family Law
There are some steps spouses can take, however, to keep separate property separate. If they have the foresight to execute a prenuptial agreement before marrying, this agreement can identify which property is to be considered separate. In addition, spouses may want to keep accurate and thorough records when it comes to establishing that a piece of property is not meant to be part of the marital estate.
Not combining marital and separate property, such as through a joint bank account, can also help. It is also important to remember that an increase in value of separate property or any active appreciation of a piece of separate property during the course of the marriage may render that part of the property to be marital property.
In addition, spouses should not use separate funds to pay debts incurred during the course of the marriage. Also, spouses shouldn't deposit income they earned while married into a separate account, as this could result in the aforementioned comingling.
In the end, if a spouse wishes to keep separate property separate, they may want to seek legal help, so they can make informed decisions. This post only provides general information and cannot guarantee any particular result when it comes to property division and divorce.
Source: FindLaw, "Managing Marital Property - Do's and Don'ts," Accessed Sept. 4, 2017