3.32 Community Property


In General

In Texas, all property acquired during marriage is presumed to be community property. Exceptions are property acquired prior to marriage or acquired during marriage by gift or inheritance. An exception is when title is taken in only one name, even though the person is married.  In this case, the property is held as community property under the sole management and control of the named spouse.  Only that person needs to sign liens and deeds on that property.

Community property laws provide a system of property ownership for married persons in which spouses are treated as equal partners during the duration of the marriage.

Upon marital dissolution by divorce, the parties will be awarded their share of the community property based on an equitable distribution of the property.

Many people confuse separate property and homestead rights.  Community property is how title is held.  Homestead is protection from forced liens.  A person can have homestead rights in the separate property of another simply by living there.  A person may have no homestead rights in community if they don't live there.