Fulshear, TX asked in Divorce and Estate Planning for Texas

Q: Hello... how to separate a real estate from the marriage community property in TX?

My dad bought a property in TX and we are both in the title. I need to separate that property from marriage community property in case I get divorced. My wife is in agreement with this approach as my dad is the owner of the property and I am just in the title in case he passes. Is this something that can be done through a simple document? would love to get some guidance. thx.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Elizabeth A. Sabol
Elizabeth A. Sabol
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Cedar Park, TX
  • Licensed in Texas

A: First, I'd want to know more about how the property was acquired in the first place. Are you sure it's community property? If it was given to only you as a gift even after marriage (eg, because your dad paid for 100% of the land but put you on the deed), it's still likely separate property, which your wife would have no claim on in a divorce. (Only community assets are subject to the court's equitable division of marital property - but do keep in mind your separate assets may sway the court on what's truly "equitable").

Are you also asking about what happens to your dad's interest in the property if he dies and leaves it to you? Like gifts, property acquired through inheritance is separate property, which your wife has no claim for in divorce.

If you did in fact contribute community property assets to buy the land with your dad, then yes, your wife has a community property interest in your interest in the land. If you want to convert a portion of your community assets to your sole and separate property, you'll both need to hire lawyers and execute a marital property agreement. I wouldn't attempt to do this without lawyers.

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