Can I keep my assets?

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Can I keep my assets?

My wife has provided almost nothing to our
marriage financially. I need to know if the
system is going to split the things I purchased
between us. TVs, furniture, the car,
appliances, I paid for all of it. And if it is
decided that we share these things, can I sell
them without consequence? Or does she have the
right to my assets just for marrying me for two
years?

Asked on May 7, 2019 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Texas is a community property state.  This means that anything aquired during the marriage (regardless of who paid for it), will be divided between the two spouses.  The emphasis here is "acquired during the marriage."  If you bought a car, an appliance, or a couch prior to marriage, then you get to take it with you.  So, if you have some of these items, start tracking down your receipts and documents now that prove those items are your separate property....and not property of the community.  
As far as the consequence for selling certain items....it will depend on any orders of the court and when you sell them.  If you sell a car for $10k while the divorce is pending and there is an other in place which says you can't sell the car, then the court could hold you in contempt OR order that you give your wife 1/2 of the sale price.  If you sale before the divorce as filed, you may still have to divide the proceeds, but you can't be held in contempt for violating a condition of an order before the order existed.
Even though Texas is a bit frustrating because of the community property rules, the law regarding the protection of separate property is also strong.  So leverage this law to protect what assets you can.


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