How a Deed Can Sink Your Separate Property Claim

If you think a piece of real estate that you own is separate property and not community property in your Woodlands Divorce then you have to prove you meet the legal requirements to obtain the protection of separate property. Unfortunately, the deed for the piece of property you received may contain some very simple language which can be a big obstacle to you proving your case if you aren’t careful.

In a recent divorce case, the husband claimed a piece of real estate was separate property and the wife claimed the same piece of real estate was community property. Since the law creates a presumption that all property possessed by either spouse during or on dissolution of marriage is community property, the husband had to prove his separate property claim by clear and convincing evidence.

The husband based his claim on the fact that his father deeded the property to him as a gift and that he did not pay for the property. If the language in the deed supported his version of events the odds probably would have been in his favor; however, the deed said something a little different. The deed for the property stated the husband provided consideration of $10 and “other good and valuable consideration.” To make matters worse, the deed did not convey the property to the husband as his separate property nor did it indicate the consideration was paid from the husband’s separate property.

The court determined the husband did not prove his separate property claim to the real estate by clear and convincing evidence due to the language in the deed. Don’t let this happen to you. If you are receiving a piece of real estate or other property that you want to protect as separate property it can be done, but you need to follow the legal requirements in order to qualify for legal protection in the event of a divorce. Give me a call at (832) 592-7913 if you need help protecting your separate property in a Woodlands Divorce.

Download my free guide to Divorce in The Woodlands for some additional information about getting divorced; and remember to consider the unique benefits of a Collaborative Divorce if children are involved.