How to File a Reimbursement Claim During a Texas Divorce


Having questions about whether you can file a reimbursement claim is pretty normal, considering that you are still figuring out stuff about the division of property during the divorce. A huge part of a Texas divorce involves determining which property is owned by whom, which property is separate property and which ones are community property that must be split. This will all be new to you, so you will surely have a lot of questions. Before we discuss anything about filing a reimbursement claim, we need to fully understand the concept of separate and community property.

Categorizing Your Properties

Basically, when it comes to a divorce, there are three categories where each of your properties will fall into. You are probably aware that Texas is a ‘community property state’. That’s the first category your properties could fall into. Property that you and your spouse acquired during the length of your marriage will fall into this category. Inheritance and other similar types of properties are exemptions though. The separate estates that you have will fall into the separate property category. These are the accounts or actual property that already belonged to you before you got married. What if you contributed some money to your spouse’s separate property? This is where reimbursement comes in. For instance, if your spouse owned a house prior to your marriage and you spent a fortune renovating that house, that is basically separate property, but you can file a reimbursement claim. This is the third category.


Everything You Need To Know About Reimbursement


Filing a reimbursement claim means that you can get a chance to get back the money you spent on your spouse’s separate property. This does not mean that all the money you’ve spent on your spouse’s property will be completely reimbursed. Let us present an overview of the types of expenses that can be reimbursed if you file a reimbursement claim. Usually, when you use a community property to develop or improve a separate property, it is possible that you can be reimbursed for it during the divorce. Hence, if you use your money or your community account in order to build a new pool at a house that your spouse owns, you can apply for reimbursement for your expenses.

Another area we can look from is debts. If your spouse has a debt that was paid off using community property or your separate property, you can definitely file a reimbursement suit for that during the divorce. Also, working in a business owned solely by your spouse, and you did not get paid for the work that you did, you can also be reimbursed. If you were paid, but it was an insufficient amount, you can still file a reimbursement claim for that. Chances are, the court will grant you a reimbursement.


When The Judge Orders a Reimbursement



After you file a reimbursement claim, the judge can order a reimbursement payment to be made. However, this does not mean that you will get all the payment to yourself. It all depends on where the money used to pay for the improvements of your spouse’s separate property came from. For instance, if the payment came from a joint account that you have with your spouse, the reimbursement funds will go to that account and it will be divided by the court like any other community property. If the funds came from your separate property, it will be returned to you as well.



Making an Effective Reimbursement Claim in Court


It is easy enough to present a claim for reimbursement in court during your divorce. The difficult part is in proving that case. In order to prove your claim, you need to provide proof to the court that a contribution was made from your community estate or your personal estate. You must prove that this contribution also resulted in benefits for your spouse’s separate property. You will also need to prove the value of the contribution you made to your spouse’s separate property.


One way to achieve this is to present to the judge documentary evidence. This can include bank transaction records and other financial documents that can back up your reimbursement claims. You might even have to hire an expert to determine the categorization of various estates if it’s that complicated in your case.



Finding Assistance


Presenting a reimbursement claim may be too tough to handle by yourself. It would be best to hire a seasoned family attorney to help you out. With an attorney’s help, you would be able to present your case properly to the divorce court. Your attorney can also help you find and choose the right evidence to support your claims. An attorney’s help is critical for your claim for reimbursement. There are many aspects of a divorce that you need professional help with, and a claim for reimbursement is certainly one of those aspects.



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Mr. Hutton is a Divorce and Custody Lawyer based out of Round Rock, TX. His background is with child psychology at Arizona State University where he received a B.S. in 2006, and he continued this by working with the Children’s Right’s Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law where he received his J.D. in 2009. Throughout his practice, he has been a strong proponent of utilizing modern technology to improve his practice and the representation of his clients. He currently is the technology chair of CAFA of Travis County and is committed to improving and modernizing the practice of law in Texas. If you have any questions you can contact him at

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