Community property versus separate property deals with marriages. Texas Constitution Art. 16, Sec. 15 gives a lengthy explanation. The definitions are further spelled out in Texas Family Code Sec. 3.001.
All property, both real and personal, of a spouse owned or claimed before marriage is separate property. Further, property acquired afterward by gift, devise or descent, shall be the separate property of that spouse. Additionally, damages for personal injuries are considered separate property (with the exception of loss of earning capacity.)
For example, Bobby and Allison are about to marry. Before marriage, Bobby buys a boat. After marriage, Bobby’s uncle gives Bobby a car. Bobby’s aunt then dies, leaving Bobby a house. Because the boat was purchased prior to the marriage, it’s separate property. Because the gift of the car was a gift to Bobby, it’s separate as well. Finally, because Bobby received the house by inheritance, it’s also Bobby’s separate property. If Bobby gets into a car wreck and receives a check for settlement of his personal injury, that would be (in most instances) his separate property as well.
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