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This legal research guide provides information about the division of property during divorce proceedings in Texas.
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research from Home

If you have a TexLaw ID, you can check out an OverDrive eBook title or access our remote databases. Don't have a TexLaw ID? Texas residents can register for a TexLaw ID from home! Learn more about how to register from home.

Below is an eBook title that may help you with your research on community property.

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Texas family law practice and procedure - Matthew Bender
Call Number: KFT 505 F35 1997
Publication Date: 2014
Texas Family Law for the practitioner, covering Conservatorship and Guardianship, premarital agreements, divorce, custody issues, spousal support, grounds, and valuing community assets. Includes sample petitions and motions, including initial attorney-client documents, as well as references to the most current State Bar CLE materials, legal periodicals, and ALR Annotations.


Resources at the State Law Library

Below are some of the library resources that can provide further guidance on this topic. The Texas State Law Library has many other resources in addition to the highlights we present below. Please call us at (512) 463-1722 if you have any questions about these materials.

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How to do your own divorce in Texas, 2009-2011 - Ed Sherman
Call Number: KFT 535 S5 2009
ISBN: 9780944508701
Publication Date: 2009-10-13
Part 1, Section B of this resource discusses the division of marital property. Includes forms and has an accompanying CD.

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Texas Jurisprudence 3d, volume 39, "Family Law" - West
Call Number: TEX.JUR.3D V. 39
Publication Date: 2011, updated annually
Beginning with section 117 of the FAMLAW chapter, Texas Jurisprudence provides a general overview of community and separate property law. Footnotes direct the reader to additional resources, statutes, and case law.

Community Property

Texas is one of nine states that is a community property jurisdiction. In general, this means that any property acquired by a couple during their marriage (with a few exceptions) is equally owned by both spouses. This can have a profound effect on the dissolution of property during divorce proceedings. The information on this page will give you a general overview of community property law in Texas and give you a good starting point for your research.

Texas Law

Below you will find references to areas of the Texas Family Code that govern community property and issues related to community property. If you find these statutes difficult to understand, you may want to look at the "plain English" resources on this page or speak to an attorney.

Explained in "Plain English"

Because Texas law may not be easy to understand, below you'll find a collection of resources that help to explain the law in "plain English."

  • Community Property Law
    This article, written by the Texas State Historical Society, gives a brief overview of Texas community property law and its history.

Community Property and Debts

In many community property jurisdictions, debts incurred during the marriage are presumed to be the joint responsibility of both spouses. However, Texas laws on this subject are a little more complicated. The resources below explain the legal issues that must be considered when determining responsibility for a debt. If you have questions about a specific situation, please contact an attorney for legal advice.

Who Can I Contact?

For advice about how the community property law affects you specifically, you will need to consult an attorney. 

    Qualifying Texans may be eligible for limited legal advice from the attorneys at's LiveHelp feature.

Legal Research Guides from the Texas State Law Library

The Texas State Law Library reference librarians have compiled legal research guides for specific areas of the law. These guides contain resources that can help you research a legal issue. The American Association of Law Libraries has a guide for Non-Lawyers on How to Research a Legal Problem. If you have any questions, please contact us at (512) 463-1722 or at


The information provided on this page has been prepared for general information purposes only and should not be construed as, nor substituted for, legal advice. It is strongly recommended that you contact an attorney for advice specific to your fact situation. Your local bar association or the State Bar of Texas Lawyer Referral Information Service (1-800-252-9690) can assist you with locating an attorney.

Some of the electronic resources we refer to in this guide may be in PDF format. Adobe Reader or similar software is required to view PDFs.

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