Understanding Texas Property Laws

Posted by Crystal Olenbush on Friday, May 9th, 2008 at 5:06pm.

When purchasing or selling property in the state of Texas, there are two key laws that you must be aware of:  Community Property Laws and the Homestead Law in Texas.  Becoming knowledgeable about these laws is important in order to keep yourself protected.

Community Property Laws

According to Community Property Laws, any property that is acquired during a marriage is the property of both partners.  The only exception to this rule is if either spouse has property that is defined as “separate property.”  In order to be considered separate property, the property has to have been claimed by one of the spouses before the marriage.  Or, if it is acquired after marriage, it can be considered separate property if it is acquired as “by gift, devise or descent.”

In general, property that is acquired during the marriage is considered to be community property.  Therefore, if a one spouse wants to claim the property as separate, he or she will need to prove it.  Proving separate ownership can be difficult if the proper paperwork is not put into place when one spouse receives the land.  Therefore, if you are married and wish to keep certain land separate, you need to be certain to complete the proper paperwork immediately.  This way, if problems arise later in the marriage, you will be properly protected and can more easily prove that the land is not a part of the community property.

Texas Homestead Laws

“Residential homestead” is the name given to the parcel of land or the lot that an adult or a family resides upon.  Anything that is part of that land is also considered to be a part of the residential homestead.

According to the Texas Homestead Laws, your residential homestead is protected.  This means that you are can live on your property without fear of claims from creditors.  Of course, if you owe money as the result of home equity lines, money liens, tax lines, or liens for improvements, you are still required to fulfill your debt obligations.

With Texas Homestead Laws in place, you can rest easy knowing that your land is protected and cannot be taken from you.  So long as you pay your liens as agreed upon in your contractual agreements, you can be certain that the home will remain yours for as long as you desire.

As a homeowner in Texas, it is important for you to be aware of your rights as well as your responsibilities.  In that way, you can keep your property protected while making a great investment in your future.

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