Articles Posted in Community Reimbursement Claim

Appealing a Court’s Ruling on the Division of Property in a Divorce Case

Upon granting a divorce, a trial court must order the division of the parties’ community property and determine any claims for reimbursement by any of the martial estates in a manner it deems “just and right.” TEX. FAM. CODE ANN §§ 7.001, 7.007; see also Vallone v. Vallone, 644 S.W.2d 455, 459 (Tex. 1982). The party claiming the right of reimbursement bears the burden of pleading and providing the expenditures were made and are reimbursable. Chavez v. Chavez, 269 S.W3d 763, 768 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2008, no pet.). For purposes of the division of the parties’ community estate, community property consists of property, other than separate property, acquired by either spouse during marriage. TEX. FAM. CODE 3.002. Separate property consists of property owned or claimed by either spouse before marriage. 

In the case below, I go over what the law is for the division of property challenges on appeals and why the court affirmed the trial court’s decision. 

You brought some property into your marriage, accumulated some property along the way, and now you are facing a divorce.  You need advice about what is really yours, hers, and in between.  You are not alone to have commingled property—many people have concerns about property and what ultimately happens to it, especially if it is a house or some other large asset.

Many people get confused and think that whatever is in their name is their property and same goes for their spouse.  Unfortunately, that is not how it works in Texas.  We are a community property state and the character or nature of the property depends upon its inception of title—when did you acquire that piece of property.  Community property is anything acquired during marriage, no matter whose name it is in.  Separate property is anything acquired prior to marriage or by gift, devise or descent during marriage.  Therefore, if you bought your home prior to marriage then it is your separate property.

But, now you are concerned because you deeded the home to both of your names after you were married.  However, that is not enough to convert separate property into community property under Texas Family Code Section 4.202.  In fact, subsection (a) states that you must have an agreement to convert separate into community property and that agreement must “(1) be in writing; be signed by the spouses; identify the property being converted; and specify that the property is being converted from separate property into the spouses’ community property; (2) and it is enforceable without consideration.”

Contact Information