When you decide to end your marriage in divorce, the process can seem overwhelming—especially when trying to decide who gets what when it comes to the house, the furniture, the vacation property, the dog and more. Each state has specific laws about property division in divorce, and in Texas, the law views any property or debts accumulated during the marriage as community property.

What does community property mean?

In community property states, assets and debts are split 50-50 between divorcing spouses. So, if your spouse isn’t listed on the title of your home, but it was bought while you were married, your spouse is entitled to half the current value of the home. If your spouse took time away from her career to raise your children, she still will be entitled to half of what you’ve earned in your retirement accounts during the marriage. If you started a business during the marriage, your spouse will be entitled to half of what the business is worth.

What all is considered community property?

The community property division rules in Texas extend to the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • Real estate and land
  • Income
  • Furniture and appliances
  • Collectibles or antiques
  • Vehicles
  • Debts

Are there exceptions to community property?

There are exceptions to community property division in divorce. One is if you or your spouse has a trust fund, where that money has never comingled with money you’ve earned since marrying. Another is if you took on debt on your own: with your own credit card or to get a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Those debts you take on individually (not in a joint credit account, for instance) will remain yours after the divorce.

Dealing with property division in divorce can be complex, especially if you have multiple types of assets, own a business or did not have a prenuptial agreement. Consulting a family law attorney is always a good idea so they can be your advocate while you divide assets with your former spouse.