The court in a Texas divorce must make a just and right division of the parties’ estate. This does not necessarily require the court to award the parties equal shares of the property. Property acquired during a marriage is generally community property, but property acquired before the marriage or by gift, devise, or descent is separate property. A party claiming separate property must show that it is separate by clear and convincing evidence. A husband recently challenged a court’s characterization of certain property as the wife’s separate property.
The parties got married in 1997 and the husband filed for divorce in 2019. Each party sought a disproportionate share of the marital estate.
Wife Asserts Separate-Property Claim
According to the appeals court’s opinion, a significant issue in the divorce was property purchased by the wife in 1997 after the marriage. She leased the building in 1990 and renewed the lease in 1995. After the marriage, she bought it. She testified the written lease she signed in 1995 gave her an option to purchase, but she had lost the document.