I found out my husband is still married to his ex. We have split up and he is trying to claim community property. Is it legal?

I bought my house prior to us getting married and the only thing we acquired together was a vehicle that is not paid off and in both our names. What can he possibly get from me if he is still married to his first wife?

Texas City, TX -

Attorney Answers (3)

Thomas James Daley

Thomas James Daley

Divorce / Separation Lawyer - Dallas, TX
Answered

If he is still married to his ex wife, she is not his ex wife--she is his wife. Since you are not his wife and your marriage is void under Texas law, there is no community property. However, their may be jointly owned property. Your house is your house. You each have a 1/2 separate property interest in the car. I'd sell the car and split the proceeds, if it is not upside down. Otherwise, try to buy him out of the car. If he takes the car, he will not make payments on it and the collectors will come after you. So you'll get all the pain and none of the gain.

Consult with a family lawyer who can examine your particular facts more closely.

Cynthia Russell Henley

Cynthia Russell Henley

Criminal Defense Attorney - Houston, TX
Answered

He is not your husband because he is still the husband of someone else. Because you and he are not married there is no community property. The house that belonged to you before your purported marriage is still your house. The car belongs to both of you. I would do my best to buy out his interest and keep the car so that you know that the notes are being paid.

Eric B. Dick

Eric B. Dick

Insurance Law Lawyer - Houston, TX
Answered

This gets kind of interesting. Is your marriage a common law marriage?

See Texas Family Code 6.202 which is the general rule but there is an exception - a putative spouse. IF wife did not know of husband's marriage, a putative spouse takes 1/2 of assets acquired during relationship. If wife did know of earlier marriage, wife has no rights because relationship was meretricious.

I offer free consultations and am quite familiar with family judges in Harris County and nearby counties.

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