Property possessed by either party at the time of a Texas divorce is presumed to be community property. To show that property was instead separate, the presumption must be rebutted by clear and convincing evidence. If the assets were not maintained separately from community assets, they must be traced back to separate property by showing the origin of the property. Income earned during the marriage is also community property.
A wife recently challenged a court’s finding that a down payment made from her savings account was made with community funds. After six years of marriage, the parties filed for divorce. In the wife’s counter petition, she sought reimbursement to her separate estate for assets she alleged were spent for the benefit of the community estate.
At the hearing, the husband sought half the equity in the marital home and community funds he alleged the wife had deposited into her checking account and given to her adult child. The parties agreed on the value of the home and the amount of the down payment. The husband admitted the down payment had come from the wife’s savings account, but argued that it came from community property funds that had been commingled into the wife’s savings account. He testified that she deposited her paychecks into her checking account and transferred funds to the savings account. He testified the savings account had $162,168.61 at the time of the marriage. The bank records showed $282,847.69 was in the account before the withdrawal for the down payment. The husband also testified he had given his wife cash to pay the utilities and half of the mortgage payment.