Welcome back to our blog, today we're talking about inventory and appraisement as it relates to original divorces according to Texas Family Law. One of the things that always comes up in a family law case is what is separate property? Do you own any? Well, if you do, one thing you have to know is that you have to specifically ask that it be confirmed as your separate property.
Real life example of why that's so critical: about six or seven years ago I sat for jury trial in a county out in the western part of the state, and my client had no separate property estate. They had been married for a number of years, they had some property they accumulated together, there was some contribution by her to his separate property estate, but this spouse, this husband had a significant separate property estate, had a couple collectors cars, had a home that he owned before the marriage, paid off home, paid off completely separate property, paid off two classic cars. My opponent had not specifically asked for the confirmation of separate property, and if we had put 12 jurors in the box, that could have been a life changer for that client, because that means that the jury would have only been able to consider, and the judge would have only been able to consider, that that property fell under the presumption that it was community property.
Separate property is a big deal.
You have to think about all your little gifts, all your inheritances, all the things that you may have had, you had some old motorcycle , man you got a 1974 Harley Davidson super glide that you've had for forever, that's your separate property ,your wife came into the marriage with her lexus hard top convertible, and y'all have always kept it. That's her separate property, right? Jewelry from grandmothers, heirlooms, things like that, that existed... you know a copy of the Gutenberg Bible that great great great grandpa gave you on the chisholm trail, whatever it is, that stuff's your separate property and you've got to specifically ask that it be confirmed.
The other thing about specific property, these are the things I hope i'm hitting on, it's a property accumulated or possessed or purchased before the marriage, and then there's some inception of title, things for property, that is specific to that like: real property and automobiles. So if it was purchased before the marriage, there in itself is evidence of the inception of title which means you've got an argument that it's completely separate property and it should be confirmed as your separate property. So you must disclose it in your inventory and you must specifically ask in your pleadings that your separate property be confirmed.
Now, other items that are separate property are things that were gifted to you or inherited to you, you received as an inheritance, eleven thousand dollars from great grandpa, twenty thousand dollars from great grandma, a farm in Iowa from great grandma...whatever it may be, daddy's hunting rifle, those items are separate property, if they're gifts or inheritances. Likewise any property that your spouse received during the marriage that was a gift or an inheritance, that's that spouse's separate property.
Additionally, other things that you need to consider are, let's talk about that eleven thousand dollars that grandma gave you just a gift from grandma, love your great grandson, here's 11k. Then you use that money to buy an asset, you use that separate property money to buy some asset, you have an issue where you need to trace that money, because it it leads to some either claim that the separate property estate needs to be reimbursed, or let's say it's and eleven thousand dollars and you decide to buy an investment property with it , you're gonna buy a fixer-upper out in Vanzant County Texas for a hundred and eleven dollars, you can pay cash for a building and get it fixed up and put a renter in there and then that whole thing becomes traceable to the separate property asset and then that asset, that can be traced back to the income from the gift or the inheritance and that needs to be reimbursed, so you need to list that especially if it was solely purchased or funded with that separate property inheritance from either spouse.
Cover your bases folks, and be prepared! As always, thanks for stopping by and reading, check out the video that goes along with this post here : https://youtu.be/YRtxnQuyETA
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